I knocked on the door of my old house.
My knuckles rapped the green paint.
She opens up, I explain, she lets me in,
and everything was different. There’s no
reference to the photographs I have.
The stove was bigger, the countertop a hard
stone, the living room smaller, cluttered,
the garden overgrown and dense.
Nothing stayed from where it once was.
I expected a flurry of nostalgia, a rush
of memory firing the synapses, to pick
apart the house and know where things
happened. To account for the scar on my leg,
to tick off where I fell down the stairs,
hit my head, and left a dent in the banister.
None of it was there. Our names laddering
the door frame in pencil rungs were all buried beneath
a stroke of beige paint. The linoleum, clean and shiny,
had no impression of floorboard woodgrain
or that brown spiral I thought looked like a dog.
Suddenly, I wasn’t in the house.
This was a boat, one I had to leave.
All ten of my toes peered over the edge
of the gangplank with no land to meet.
Just a dark sea below,