Haunted by Houses

By Julie Irigaray

I.

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.

 

 

II.

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?