Your House

I can always tell when you're home


because your shoes are lined up with the laces tucked in
and the house has a breathed-in feel--
it's the difference between a lightbulb
and a lightbulb marked up, screwed in
by your dusty fingers.
Everything in this house feels heavy with your presence,
the movies you might have watched,
the cardboard you might have had a hand in recycling.
I know where you are in the house because you are in the house:
every secret smile I swallow, you see; every broken glass
shatters onto your stomach as I see my face reflected
in the blue transparent cabinets, and you
have seen everything.
I can't lie to you.
You demand my secrets and I lay them out
(you are still hungry) I throw them down
(you are insatiable) I scrape them out of my lungs,
the things I have protected too long to fear,
the things I have loved too much to be ashamed of,
all that is yours. I will let you judge me
because I want you to know me.
You know me now.
Watch me go and tell me
that you still tuck the laces in
and line the shoes up side by side in the hall.
How can you?
How can you take off your shoes
when no one is there to take them for granted,
no foreign presence laughing
because the door was locked
but the shoes gave you away.


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