Because there are invisible handprints everywhere,
even the floor from pushups and cartwheels.
Because there is a hole in the screen through
which moths make their crossing to become
still shadows in the overhead fixtures.
Because you are filled with moons I go chasing
from cellar to attic and out
the fire escape if only you had one.
House, I love you because there is aspirin and garlic
and colored pencil erasers on the windowsill.
Because you are bathed in champagne
the way the sun sets around you.
Because there are whole oceans inside you and long
beaches eroding in places if I think about it.
If I think about it, this is the house in which Jesus
was born in a barn, the same house
the Kissimmee River full of flagfish flows
through the kitchen as I whip meringue.
House, I love you for sitting in the grass
like a contented cow all because you dream
of walking on stilts through town.
Because you are yellow in one room, pink in the next
and green down the hall . . .
Because you entertain yourself when I’m away.
You don’t need a deck of cards or the radio.
Because yours are the longest arms reaching
into pharmacy, water ice stand
and toll plaza and I can’t wait to get home.
House, I love you in the night when you’re an old,
stiff-jointed animal shifting in its sleep.
Then, too, you’re really a funny looking book.
Critics find you slow, lacking discernible plot
but I can’t stop turning your water-stained pages.
House, I love you because your heart changes
shape and moves around.
One day it’s the cabinet of glassware.
Another day, the high bed in the guest room.
Or the toy chest.
Or the garden hose asleep in the garage.
I can hear it beating from where
I happen to be looking.
I can do this with my eyes closed.
Dear house, the truth is, I am really your house.
I carry you with me whether I’m waiting for a plane
or running at the track.
If you are repossessed tomorrow—
if you burn down an hour from now,
in me your estate is fully intact
but you already know that.