The Places We Aren’t Meant To Go

There are places we aren’t meant to go
And if we go we aren’t meant to bring others

We know why the fence hangs ragged from its hinge
Why the grass grows machete-long beside

the cracked pathway We know why the porch cellar
is awash in light and the grey psoriatic

steps blister with abandon We know
why the door is a gnarled hematoma

and the entryway earthen with cobwebs
gurgles a warning We know the rabid animal

in the chimney feeds on grizzle
We know the fire that stalked its rooms

despoiling even the air the bodies
it emptied feet-first on their final gurneys

We are able to sneak in and remember
but when the younger children ask

to follow we tell them no as if death
is a disease we can protect from

an ash we can wash from our hands
when we return home.

Poetry – Published in Union Station Magazine, 2016