In the cab ride to the new place,
I clutched the cattle head we had hung above our doorway.
Bubble wrap was not as safe as my hands.
Horns weapons in my lap, danger in too-close proximity.
I would sleep on our couch for six months, but didn’t know it then.
I watched August pass and saw the orchids I was given at birth
that bloomed each summer so stalwart
slowly smother themselves, breathing the dust the renovation gave us,
but an old apartment gasped for the first time in a long while.
When we left the old place and saw what had been ours—
tumbleweeds of dog hair, splintered wood, windows rough with smog—
we knew that a house was a place to sleep and nothing more, clean bones.
Though we hung a skull amid the dust and dying, it was a living thing.
© 2015 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.