The Home

They’ve healed me to pieces.

Paul Celan


They’ve locked me in a closet

in a three story home—with only

Mama inside, still screaming her stories:

You’re the Bad Seed, you

need to be sorry. They’ve given me tasks

to pretend I am sorry: I eat my breakfast,

I pick at the scabs that erupt in my face, I dig

holes in the closet to bury the latest

dolls who’ve come back—Mary, Melinda,

Chatty Cathy. They’ve opened the closet

and let me be free—for three whole hours—

walking on a beach, making

plans for tomorrow.—Then

shoved me back in. They play games,

they have reasons. Or claim they have reasons.

They’ve invented a war in a nightmare country:

Bang bang cry the boys as the dolls

explode in the street. Boom boom

goes my head as I curl up for sleep.

They knit the flags, they pronounce the deadlines:

September 15th, a party for freedom.

They give out their medals as the dazed

soldiers make speeches: I am

almost like new, I love my steel eyes.

They say and they say: This is your home, what

else could it be? They have stolen my words but keep

pumping in air, thousands of hours of seemingly

limitless air. But it’s beautiful beautiful. They keep

moving my lips with two wood sticks: What’s

the meaning of this?—It’s just

a simulation. (They still prop me up at

the entrance to the home.) And the real life happens

next week.