Our Battered Walls Are Caving In

Meredith DeLong
Poem starting with the first sentence of “Mother of Wood” by Tiana Nobile

Our Battered Walls are Caving In

When did you become a house? Splinters
poke my eyelids when I look too closely
at what we’ve built. Architectural ruin:
damp and molding, pillars leaning, will you
crumble with me in the night? I am
lost in your attic with all these broken
lightbulbs I keep finding on your floors.
When fear grips me I crawl into your air vents
to sync our breaths, but the dust makes me sick.
I am making you sick. Wallpaper peeling, your
edges curling in my effort to keep warm. I split
lips on cracked mugs but I will remain here.
Every morning I try to fix the blinds; 
each evening I burn away our candle supply.