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Haunted by Houses

By Julie Irigaray


I search on Google Maps

the new owners have built an extension,


to make it reach
A crucifixion of the heart


stealing my apricots and storing
My mother was pregnant with me


We were both born together


The roof was a womb,


This house gave birth to three children,

for my childhood home:

reshaped it like a Greek cross


its full potential –

to see these impostors intruding into my past,


their memories in the attic.

when the first stone was laid.


but the house was my mother.


the walls a placenta.


yet I was the first one.




In my creepy dreams I return as if I’d never left,


the kitchen where I’d eaten woodcocks for breakfast,


I’m a prowler. The rooms are never vacant.

I cross the wall separating the house


from the stud farm. I discover

and I’m cursed to search for it again.

A part of me went missing aged twelve. 

How do you mourn a house?




as if nothing had been distorted:


the ox blood asphalt, the iron gate forged by my grandfather –





a whole new world out of reach 




How do you bury a childhood?

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