after a photograph by A. Aubrey Bodine
A house: scoured and scarred by wind, its unpainted
boards aligned in contrasting verticals of dark and light,
with a chimney that leans a little as the house leans.
Four broken-out windows on facing sides
allow a bird, many birds, to fly easily in and out,
like a mind in the midst of its own vacancy, trying
and failing to hold onto its own rapid, chattering thoughts.
A house unto itself that leans but does not fall.
Being but never doing (is being enough?),
storied and memoried (or has it forgotten everything?),
does it wonder why that florid, over-dramatic sky
can never make up its mind what it wants to do?
Or what happens to those pink and purple clouds
when they drop over a razor-thin line of horizon?
Taking it all in, coming back to it day after day,
moving toward it and then moving away, walking
in cautious clockwise circles around it, peering
curiously into its endless gloom, then stepping
over the doorframe into a perfectly empty room
(no, not empty, there’s a curling calendar from 1952),
do you think it has nothing to do with you? Do you?