Coveting the House

I delay my run till dusk so I can feign a breather, but really dawdle
before the yellow house with its red sign and deep porch, steal
what glimpse the windows afford me into the white front rooms.

Behind the trees, they’re lit so brightly. We would not buy such
high-wattage bulbs. We’d sit nightly by the glow of a 40-watt lamp,
you’d get up to make tea, stop to brush aside my hair and kiss my nape

as I read. I see our curated things in place of the Victoriana. Perhaps
one night your phone would ring, or mine, and one of us would start,
go white, and turn over the screen. The questions. The news. The curses

of an old house whose ghosts are yet unknown to us. The creaks.
The leaks. The place in the basement that’s been oft-patched
but only barely, only till the next deluge. The arbor in the back

whose vines bear fruit that would never quite get sweet.
The winter’s chill. The pollen’s acrid chalk. The summer’s heat.
The dump of dead leaves every fall. And us, house-poor.

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