You erected walls around you, built castles in the sand
You drew houses on each and every wall to shelter
That shouts into the world for all to see.
“Here, here it resides”—in the house with no address.
The cup half empty and the shattered bowl.
With windows so tiny you could hardly squeeze in a sun beam.
But here it is the monument to self nicely scattered on the floor.
You’ll need a toothpick and a magnifying glass
To glue the pieces together again.
You built your house, that’s fair—
Here it stands, dark, cloistered;
There’s no land,
Just the contours of the red marker like a Sergeant Ill Will
You did well: this writing on the wall fencing you in.
In the house of red, you have no name, no eyes, no will: this game is tempting,
It hides you in.
But here she comes with the bucket full of paint,
Covering the stains,
She won’t sit still,
Ashamed, you tuck her deep inside the pocket of your skin,
Your secret—your sin.
It comes knocking at the door
When everybody sleeps at night,
She screams and yells;
Her fear gnaws and stings.
With arms bucked at her waist,
She soars in with her need to fill; like a toxic waste,
She is everywhere yet unbearably shrill.
She’s angry and she’s vile.
You cannot soothe her, she’s on fire.
You run, keep running, cannot, will not tire.
You are the top speed runner, ride trains, walk on ceilings.
Weightless, homeless, in-between.
You put a distance between her and I.
She can’t get to you, buried in your crying eye.
Not here in this no place of in-beetweenness,
where your feet can hardly touch the ground,
where you can’t claim a native hearth,
where you are alone with all your flying,
where hope is nothing more than sweet denying.
“You have to follow your dream,”
Modigliani said to La Bambina,
Before painting her blue dress
Her melancholy look groomed like a flower.
And There There’s the Little Prince,
The only boy on the planet so small,
Growing baobabs that sprawl with branches untidy and tall.
Then there’s the picture of a mother hugging her male child.
It’d be a divine picture of oneness if it were not for the little girl standing by.
Her gaze on the photographer, piercing and chill
As she whispers quietly: do you see me if you sit still?
And then the trigger and the camera go snap.
The caption isn’t clear.
There’s the brother, one year old,
But no sight of her, poor dear.
Where did she go?
She must be near.
There she is hiding by the wall.
She is no baobab, so whittled, so small.
Her voice shakes,
When the painter finishes her dress,
Drawing a line around her appliqué flower.
Giving her a piece of land,