I see a corridor and I see it with all its edges.
I throw a burning ember on the wooden floor
and the mustard wallpaper suddenly shudders;
the shroud that left my room uncovered
now melts and slithers into my mouth.
It soaks into my throat and curls into my lungs
like the smoke of a furnace burning under my house.
Scratching and inhaling, I am an incubator
and I nurture the clothing that defamed my body.
I keep the warm, ironed scarves just above my nose
so that I can smell the scent of my mother’s secrets –
the pungent stench circles in my spine
and the only anatomy my doctor sees, is
the coveted pills that keep me from expanding
into the enigma of my flesh. It is soft and dangerous
and curls around my bones and nothing in my house
is safe from its crackling. I lurch, but the dense
cotton in my mouth doesn’t allow me to breathe.
Smothering myself and smothering my family,
the kitchen is empty and I sit on its floor
the chalkboard is dusty and I lick its catastrophic slate
there is nothing sickening that doesn’t satiate me.
The fire is catching and the curtains are falling –
sheets wither into the pillows that wither
into my father’s head. His suits, his ties,
his stale-silver watch that never told him the time right
all lying on the floor. I will consume it.
I will take his hands into the sink,
they are used to washing off the charcoal
that we shove into my throat.
I am the fire that burns my home.