Jan 18, 2011

The Open House

Written by Matthew Smith

Read by Lauren Camp

In rain, the smell of pine and old cement
returns to me, unlike the night, which can’t,
we raced downtown past colds we should have caught
to see some place our friend had bragged about

with marble steps ascending from the park,
and shelves in wood antique as it was dark,
an antebellum chandelier and view,
at bedside, of the monument. All true,

and all so nearly what we could afford,
though we’d have liked a guest room. You demurred,
descending to the street, and voiced some doubt
the sink or stove had roused, which you forgot

amid the ghosts of neighbors we would host,
decades of coffee stains and burning toast,
the lullabies and tales we’d not yet penned,
and those blank years, without me, at the end.

linebreak