The House I Never Lived In

by Michael H. Brownstein

The door in the wall led to an inner sanctum
and the path through the garden to a paved road
narrow and bent, through and over.
We took it, step by step, against ancient brownstone,
gray brick and rock, until the house
we never lived in became something distant.

We wandered away, sometimes not eating for days,
water a memory a week at a time, air the source
of everything living. Fifty years we walked:
We never made it back home.

Once I left my companion on a long stretch
of straightaway only to discover him
a kilometer in front of me three days later.

Fog and marsh, bus stations going nowhere,
airlines stacked on runways with short lines
and loud people, and never once a car
or a horse or a mule driven carriage.

This became us, and we blended with it,
every now and then finding another like us,
and different, a pair of young women
never aging, a sage with a long purple beard,
his companion not more than a child,
music soaked into our hair like rain,
a grand crowd of revelers silently creating
the soft sound of one hand clapping.

Sick and tired, I turned down an animal path
leaving my companion sleeping by a creek
running brown and blood red from dioxin
and mineral discharge, the factory nonexistent.

Nothing ever happened during the walks away.
He met up with me eight kilometers later,
stepping from between two injured walls,
turning toward me with an expression of nothing.
We did not talk for days and I never asked
where he had found the way intersecting my path
of interruption. I did not need to know the answer.


Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing