IF THEY HELD HANDS WITH YOUR NECK THEN CROSS THEM OFF YOUR CHRISTMAS CARD LIST

She was selling her half of the stately home off
one set of drawers at once,
throwing armoires onto furnace floors to heat that little hearth of hers
hoping he’d notice.

On the days she delivered
barns were boxed off to the highest bidder,
individual magnified sugar grains rearranged to look a lot like The Big Dipper,
and tea was always served before supper started.

On the days she didn’t, he’d hit her
panting in the steady asthma of steam-room living.

Break the bolt of that door for the blue skies above familiar rooftops and country road corners, honey,
or you’ll have forgot that this house is not a home.