The house we built gradually
from the ground up when we were young
(three rooms, the walls
raw trees) burned down
last year they said
 
I didn’t see it, and so
the house is still there in me
 
among branches as always I stand
inside it looking out
at the rain moving across the lake
 
but when I go back
to the empty place in the forest
the house will blaze and crumple
suddenly in my mind
 
collapsing like a cardboard carton
thrown on a bonfire, summers
crackling, my earlier
selves outlined in flame.
 
Left in my head will be
the blackened earth: the truth.
 
Where did the house go?
 
Where do the words go
when we have said them?

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