poem index

Loving a House

Charles Harper Webb
Sandi doesn't like Dan much, but loves his house. She comes over before
he's home from work, to gaze into its window-eyes. 
     She wheedles her own key. ("That's good," Dan thinks. "We're getting
close.") Now she can visit when he isn't there to interrupt as her bare feet
caress the hardwood floors, as her hands linger on gleaming knobs and
faucets, as she strokes the long, smooth balustrade, and explores every
chamber of this heart she adores. 
     Though Dan's frog-belly makes her wince, his slobbery kiss makes
her shudder, the feel of him inside her can only be endured if she is
drunk or stoned, she marries him, pretending it's the house on top of
her, the house into whose ear she cries, to whom she whispers, "I love
you. Good night." 
     How awful when, after a year of bliss, Dan wins promotion to a better
town. 
     The "For Sale" sign in the yard pierces her heart. 
     She makes phone calls. She hires workmen and machines. Dan
comes home with two First Class tickets, to find wife and house gone. 
     "We'll move from state to state," she mouths through the rear window
of the truck that tows her love. "We'll paint, remodel, whatever it takes."  
     When rain begins to fall, she climbs from the truck to the house, and
as asphalt hisses by, kisses the wet windows one by one. "It’s hard for
me, too, Sweetheart," she whispers. "Please don’t cry." 

Copyright © 2005 by Charles Harper Webb.

Charles Harper Webb

by this poet

poem
May there be an afterlife.

May you meet him there, the same age as you.
May the meeting take place in a small, locked room.

May the bushes where you hid be there again, leaves tipped with razor-
      blades and acid.
May the rifle butt you bashed him with be in his hands.
May the glass in his car window,