Below a sky that holds nothing

                 i

 

Beside the railway track

a house fades into its abandonment

 

The paint on the outside 

once a deep shade of teal

 

remains only its thin suggestion

 

Each window blind

half- shades the weight of emptiness

 

cracking the sills

 

This was someone’s childhood—

that long forgotten self

 

that waited for someone to enter

 

                 ii

 

To enter you must first assume

 

that a door left open is the invitation

Honor it as you would a confidence

 

from a new friend who risks

 

a crack in the fence around her silence

Hold it close to your chest, as you would a fallen bird

 

                 iii

 

Un-tell it.  No house waits

by the railroad      you on a train

houses fall back               before

memory              or before the first time

you realize that lives exist everywhere you are not

that the woman hanging sheets on the line

now a speck to you, has birthed and lost children

and that after you are gone she will

sort socks and remember a moment in girlhood

when the scent of lilacs filled her the way

a boy’s kiss would, years later

before you were born. 

by  BABO KAMEL
after Hopper House by the Railroad, 1925
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