First House

By Sandy Florian

A building for habitation and habit. Or. Headquarters of a domicile. A dwelling
place of a family. Or. A structure that serves as shelter. As. A burrow or nest or
cave. A shack in a series of shacks. With nooks and garrets and stairs. This is
your corner of the world. Thick with suspicious walls. Or. I am backpedaling
through my Motionless Childhood. For. A box for the keeping of birds. A place
of worship. As. A church. Entertainment. As. A tavern. For. To be quit of you
I confine myself to the house. Or. I am living alone in such emptiness. Burying
my Lares in the basement. But. If this house should come to ruin, I am trying
hard to fix the dispersed days. When you haunted this house of horror. Or. I
am furnshing my house with memory. As. Locomotives and other forgettings.

Inmates collectively. For. A daughter who brings the house down. The harder
shell of a snail. Or. A tortoise. As. The swallow builds its own indent. Of wood,
or stone, or clay. Protection from weather. Protection again from time. The
first principle of architecture From which all things extend. But. Until you hit
the boy in the back with a bottle, this is but a barroom box. Where six tall men
play gilded guitars. Two which ways and ever which time. For. These are my
lullaby lies. And. This house has memory of home.

The I and the not I. As. Protection of I. Divisions of the brain. For. A receptacle
of any kind. A twelve parts of heaven. Or. The entire sky. Excepting parts that
never rise. For. A sign of the zodiac is considered the seat. Where artificers may
be heard. But If seven children play at house, fireside things lie in the brush.
Or. What is more beautiful than a road? A roof and a roost. A den and my digs.
I am confined as by illness. To stay in this house without purpose.

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