July: Do Houses Dream

Do Houses Dream?
by G.L. Morrison

Do houses dream?
Do the cupboards dream of chasing
broken dishes and lost teacups
and twitch like sleeping dogs?
Do they dream the cereal boxes full again?
Is that sometimes sound, the slow night-creaking
of walls, the house muttering in its sleep?
Does the house dream the kitchen full
of holiday relatives, traditional squabbles,
dry thinly carved regrets and football on TV after?
Does it people the rooms with whoever
lived here before us? Or has she forgotten them?
Will she forget us? The way we’ve forgotten before houses?
(Sometimes my hand goes out to flip a lightswitch
that isn’t there, that never was.
I don’t know what switch my hand remembers.)
Will she remember me that way? Will you?
Does it dream us fighting or making love,
of the things we’ve done or never would?
I can feel it cast the blue slope of our bodies
flickering like the shadow of the TV on the wall.
Beneath the carpet that knows the naked shuffle of our feet
and the floorboards which only know their weight
somewhere near the cracked foundation
is the heart of the house.
The multi-chambered heart of the house
unseen, rooms beneath rooms
that moles, last year’s possum and some
sick stray cats come home to.
We don’t know what’s down here, dreaming.
There is a want that burrowed in.
There is a want grooved into the muscled heart
of the house like a warp in the floorboards
that unwary feet catch on.
The house has been dreaming us.
Shhh… Don’t wake it.

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