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Today's poem is by Philip Gross

The Song of the House

Who'll take these rooms, who'll rake the cinders in my hearth
   the house said, who can fill me?
I, said the tongue of flame, I'll lick you into shape.
No, said the house, your kind of love would kill me.

I, said the wind, just leave a little pane
   unlocked, I'll air you through,
I'll blow your memories away. No, said the house,
you'd leave me with no thoughts but thoughts of you.

I, said the rain, I'll stroke you, skin to skin,
   I'll treat you to a grey bouquet
of mould in every room, I'll weep with every crack.
No, said the house, you'd leach my strength away.

I, said the earth, I've waited, waited, wooing you
   with gravity, a love as true as lead,
let go and let me hold you. No, said the house,
nobody gets up smiling from your bed.

And then the emptiness walked in, without a word,
   and later we moved in, love, you and I.
There's this place in each other we can't have
or hold: uncurtained windows, hoards of sky.



Copyright © 2002 Philip Gross All rights reserved
from Changes of Address: Poems 1980-1998
Bloodaxe Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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