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Irene McKinney – Ⅳ

In House 





I was trying to walk around in my house,

I was trying to dance and chant.

I was staying in my house.

There were piles of orange and pink towels,

there were boxes of sweet soaps,

sandalwood and violet,

there were bottles of perfumes

and colognes, bergamot, musk,

ambergris, fern, magnolia

with its slick white petals like

cool flesh beyond flesh.

I was trying, and trying,

to live in this house,

to sleep in the sleep-place,

to pass into my room, to find

the rooms within the rooms,

the house the house lives in,

the gradual home.  To run

and move to build the muscles,

strengthen the breath, deepen

the voice and its chanting,

all in the house.  I made

red curtains for my rooms,

I filled many pots with green plants,

I lay down deep red and brown

carpets, I listened to music

inside this house. What I remember

of my time inside is the salt,

dripping down my cheeks, the taste

of salt. When you weep, the face

is bathed in salt, the water sliding

down and into your mouth,

and salt is a cleansing wash, and salt

is in every cut in your body.