At Forty I Dream of Home

Cintia Santana

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Unbuilt, or charred to this, the timbers of my house, its ribs. Alone, but standing, it whistles
wind into the bluestem grass. A structure on a lot, a shape I could —or did— call home.

On the front lawn, but nowhere to be found, the small mound I called a hill. The dwarf juniper.
The white stone lantern. The markers of my childhood yard have not been planted yet nor laid.

Or perhaps the yard has changed hands. Many by now, altered by each. The chokecherry
ravaged by the indifference of strangers. Only the dirt remains; I can see it from the road.

Time of my mother’s marriage, the third or fourth. Time of the Spanish guests to impress.
Drawers crammed with silver, every tine tarnished. Impeccably behaved, I ache for a dog, a boat.

I am walking by it now, with a lover from long ago. (do I build again? at all? at first? I will not
pass this way again.) I am walking now. I am waking now.

Throughout the day, locked inside a white tile bathroom, I revisit the strange blooms of my blood.
My dog keeps dying. I save her and she dies again.