In the abandoned street
I draw the outline of the house in chalk,
pieced together from photographs
that survived the fire.
Along its imagined perimeter,
I find the room they brought me home to;
gas fire lit by a tear of newspaper,
fed through plaster bricks.
Steady flame in wet eyes
my Father holds me delicately;
all the dreams he has for the boy
become tapestries on the living room walls.
I mark the spot with a zero.
The windows in the photograph begin to strain;
a refraction of light, glass shivers,
tarmac pours in.
Scouring the razed hollow of the backyard,
I circle the gloomed beer bottle
that tore open my two–year–old knee,
etched this white–ribboned scar.
The gone house threatens something solid
as the rag and bone man’s call
nears from the next street.
I step into the shadow of the house,
slowly receding into light
as the front door opens.
Published in The Pedestal