Housebound in this town, love yellows.
Stay, and watch the walls peel away
from their ceilings.
Look through this window:
a mother stretches herself, and pulls
at the roof, little blanket feigning escape.
Her skin is sallow and singed
like a letter rescued from a fire.
in their Sunday dresses, two daughters bend,
hinged at the middle, and spend
hours scouring the curry-colored rug—
something lost, a button popped.
Their dark hair’s turned tawny,
the color of searching too long,
color of color gone.
A miniature twister turns itself dizzy
and blows figure-eights through the room.
Husks, the daughters ripple
and tip, then pick themselves up again.
The walls flutter as the long-armed mother
Upstairs, a father is whispering,
I want to live, forever
climbing out the window.
See how easily it all comes down—
how quickly the table kicks off its legs;
how the light bulbs drop
into the yellow sea of carpeting;
how the blinds break apart
and scatter like leaves;
how the house only wants to shake
itself down to a fistful of seeds
cast wide across its square lot of wheat.
Originally published in This Land, Vol. 4, Issue 21. Nov. 1, 2013.