For every life, its vacant house,
a room whose ceiling is a hollow vat
a chair squats beside the pine nightstand
antediluvian scent of pitch.
The place must be there still
a cell that preserves life in
a womb that keeps from despair.
There, there was no desire
to unroll the bedding under the stars.
An owl or the kestrel
toward the edge of the grounds, by the sea
a wisp of curtain billows in night air.
A young girl sleeps on the cot.
She is over forty now.
In the stillness, nothing changes.
A candle on the table is burned down
but the room is not dark. It would always be so.
Apples kept in a bowl, a pitcher of water,
an unopened letter.
Below, a rock beach
reminded by softly lapping waves.
Far off, heat lightning flashes.
Outside, a dog would whimper.