He Has Lived in Many Houses

furnished rooms, flats, a hayloft,
a tent, motels, under a table,
under an overturned rowboat, in a villa (briefly) but not,
as yet, a yurt. In these places
he has slept, eaten,
put his forehead to the window glass,
looking out. He's in a stilt-house now,
the water passing beneath him half the day;
the other half it's mud. The tides
do this: they come, they go,
while he sleeps, eats, puts his forehead
to the window glass.
He's moving soon: his trailer to a trailer park,
or to the priory to live among the penitents
but in his own cell,
with wheels, to take him, when it's time
to go, to: boathouse, houseboat
with a little motor, putt-putt,
to take him across the sea
or down the river
where at night, anchored by a sandbar
at the bend,
he will eat, sleep, and press his eyelids
to the window
of the pilothouse
until the anchor-hauling hour
when he'll embark again
toward his sanctuary, harborage, saltbox,
home.




The Atlantic Monthly; July 1996; He Has Lived in Many Houses; Volume 278, No. 1; page 74.


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