Richter scale


ago
1 min
59
readings
10
Finalist
Jury Selection

Home is a place I’ve never lived

Even though I know the hills and valleys of it

I didn’t decorate my bedroom, because

It’s not mine when I’m not here

The mine is not inherent to the room

 

I know it isn’t really mine, because of how my grandma forgets:

“Where are you staying tonight?”

“In the pink room, where else would I go?”

But that’s the proof: if it were mine, she would know

 

I lie on the normal fault of my bed

My bed - as if 

I trace the lava flows in my swirl plaster walls

My walls - as if

Water damage traces plate lines

 

The earth will swallow the home I have as soon as the owner dies

The owner isn’t me

The owner doesn’t have much longer

I will not chart the ropey texture in the walls

The deep-ocean mattress trench will be surveyed by other submarines

Maybe they can remember to flip it over

 

I call many places home, why is this my hotspot?

The Hawai’ian islands are formed by the slow movement of plates over the magma well

They stay for a little while and move on

They don’t cling to a place they can’t stay forever

 

I don’t mind dormant, but I fear the extinction: will I still be volcanic after?

   

Who will invite me home?

 

I haven’t been straightforward: the reason I know this home will collapse is because I already felt the foreshock, more surprising than the main event

 

The remains of the damage are all over the house: the pictures knocked off the wall, the papers gathered up and thrown away, the mementoes cherished in silence

 

I wonder if this home is too wrecked by sadness to be my home ever again.

 

My heart quakes when I hear footsteps on the side entrance, or smelling the off brand head and shoulders shampoo, or reading the post it notes scattered like fallen leaves in the wake of a windstorm

 

These mold fossils that have gained significance to the academic community of our family, because they are the closest approximation of the time before

 

This landscape was ravaged by the most natural of disasters.

 

This home is covered in shards of glass and I still want to hold on. I still want to keep this, this closest thing to home and to him.

 

Can I have the privilege of grieving in the home I lost?

10
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