Rebecca Goodrich

828 West C Street

The day I moved in the scrabble of a dog’s
claws caused me to lean away from
my unpacking, look for an
animal that wasn’t there.
The scent of a cigarette rose
out of a heating grate.
No wraithlike gauze, just the ghost of smokes
lit and extinguished long ago,
lingering on ancient air.
Sometimes I hear a whisper or exhalation,
a barely perceptible sigh and turn
to find old light falling
from a lone kitchen bulb.
This house holds memory like a mouth holds
sweet. A mote of misplaced
space containing the tang of lives
I’ll only know by the hints of
what remains.
Mine is the emptiness of others’ coming and goings,
large in the holes left by vacated souls,
molecular in dust whose giddy lightshaft dance
ends at dusk.

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