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?