library of insects and roses

i have lived in many houses
some were shanties with arsenic colored
shades and a yawning garage door where unveiled butterfly weeds
moved at a snail’s pace to make homes in the seams of their walls.

some were mansions.

others i do not remember clearly. i only know that while i lived in them
i never slept.

i almost moved today
to a house on a high green hill where a rival drew my name in the sand.
it was on the road that runs beside the river–somewhere downstream
where all the other girls had died and their dresses still hung on clothing lines
with no ends.

if i knew them well i would have told them
to wait before moving. would have warned them to be still.
would have suggested sand was no place to build a house; even the sands
near a river as beautiful as that. however, i did not know them well, nor would they
have listened to me any more than i listen to myself.

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