House of String

New England Review - - Table Of Contents - El­iz­a­beth Spires

With­out ham­mer or nail, with­out planed plank, I will build a house of string.

One airy room to live in. String walls, string ceil­ing that lets the light shine in.

A place to spend the hours where no clocks ever tick. Mine alone. Or ours.

O who can un­der­stand? O who? How I have hun­gered for the un­built, the unimag­ined.

How a piece of string trail­ing me in a long line wher­ever I go, can be

a shel­ter­ing abode, a dwelling place that is not a place at all. Come, let us go there now

and sip the tea that is nei­ther sweet nor bit­ter, lis­ten­ing all the while to the crick­ets

singing. Or not singing. Safe in its flimsy walls, we will sleep the sleep

we have al­ways dreamt of sleep­ing, rain sat­u­rat­ing our dreams, red leaves

El­iz­a­beth Spires

at the door sig­nal­ing a fi­nal fall where all be­comes noth­ing, noth­ing all, where, as soft snow

be­gins to fall, one of us will stay and one will go, walk­ing away from ev­ery­thing

we know, cast­ing a glance back to a house fill­ing up with snow, won­der­ing,

O who is the lost one? Who? The sleeper coldly cov­ered over? Or the coat­less one who leaves

no tracks, who stum­bles in the snow?

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