The floor is fleeting, windows wax and wane,
drapes change to blinds, to walls in a room
lit only by a desk lamp exposing surrendered hands
lying like naked bodies on a heart and brain contained
by a white cage with blue bars and one thin crimson wall.
A demolition crew waits outside the closed door I grew up behind,
until the baby fell through the cradle into a bed
where he slept alone for twenty-one years while
vultures with jackhammers circled,
wondering if he would wake and stretch his new limbs,
looking something like a man
who feels more like a boy
who died in the bed he grew up in.
The carpet is no longer the color
of the dirty sea or the evening sky,
and the walls are not mine.
I slept through a child’s lifetime
in a dark cell lined with the contents
of countless calendars and damning diaries.
I wonder if my new box will have as many walls and windows,
if there will be room for my collection of days
and lives lived by people who do not exist.
As I tread across the threshold of a ship going north,
I glance back and smile at you, who I imagined,
smiling back at me, with one arm and hand swaying
like a delicate white flag in the wind.