the new place

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.

2 thoughts on “the new place

  1. Interesting contrast between the skull and the house. Despite typically representing death, you have made the skull into a living thing, an image of hope and family so contrary to how it is normally seen. Beautiful!


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