Dollhouse Through the Fisheye

It’s hard for me to remember, 

But I can start with what I know

Bleaching mould stains on the wall

That trickle down from our roof split open

That grow darker every Winter

Get darker every rainfall

Dad’s gotta get a ladder up there

Patch up some shingles before the Summer ends

Before we’re flushed like termites and the roaches

When the hose is forced inside the mouth

The smell of your skin in the shower’s splutter

When you’ve terrapin-basked too long in the sun

Your skin like the pavement in the backyard

Wheezing for some heaven-sent water

Childhood’s an unfocused lens,

Mirror’s fogged, vines choke the trunk,

Clock hands seized up a long time ago, 

This stays in the ground, this stays intercepted, 

Light through the door slashed across my face

Watching you padding down the hallway

Teddy robes and darkened footprints 

Trail from the shower to your bed frame

Old, discoloured bathroom mirrors 

Now more blackness than refraction

Mother screaming you’d buried her keys 

And painted another bedroom mural

The faucet surging and gurgling down 

Water vomits over the sides as you heave her body

Into the tub by the threads of her clothes 

You watch me lock my door— slowly

Playing dollhouse while the walls shake 

Stuffing socks and underwear under the door frame 

Dragged a chair to hold up against it 

Made myself small-

Made myself a termite 

Muscle twitching in the evening 

At night I hear the water dripping 

Smell the pavement wake up to drink it

And put a towel by the wall

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Garden Funeral

Hamsters stuck in plastic piping

Suffocate when they meet 

Pulled out the upturned foodbowl

They were still and almost kissing

Buried them, huddled together in flashlight,

In a box we got our shoes for school in  

Lined with a scarf we hoped mom wouldn’t miss

When the backyard was all wet and marshy

And dad’s gone out to work the night shift

Cause he’d get mad; shut off our electricity

When the slam of his fist threw your eyes to the ground

And his grip on your throat threw your heart out

It never beat the same

Said a couple words 

When brother threw the dirt on 

‘Bout how we’d said they looked like toupées 

And how I was jealous when their sister escaped 

And made a family somewhere else

Photo by Matěj Vachuta on Unsplash