The Old House Settles

You hear the old house settle,
the mouse squeak in harmony
with the kettle on the stove
just beginning its humming.
You hear the thrumming of your pulse,
impulsive intakes of breath,
when you swear you can hear death knocking at your door
but it’s just the house settling
a little louder than before.

It takes a while,
but the bile settles again in your gut
and you’re off to sleep,
deep in your head
safe in your bed you made
of self destruction
of fiction, addiction, what-have-you.

It serves you right, I guess,
always settling for less than you need.
Even as you plead for better,
there’s a letter addressed to your debtors on your desk,
wishing them peace and rest,
but God forbid you have any yourself.
The holy book goes back on the shelf;
your unholy head lies again on your bed,
dreaming up pages of godless salvation,
hopefully unread, not nonexistent.
The noises are clearer now
but somehow more distant.

You’re up in the morning, no sins to confess,
nursing headaches, cursing nervous caffeine shakes
but the house doesn’t settle for less.

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