a half-finished house--
nothing remains but sheet rock
and forgotten blueprints.
He'd thrown the bones around
just about enough--
danced on the grave-like
foundation of the utility room,
spent long hours crying over the skeleton
of the childrens' rooms.
If he could just find some way to understand
he'd tell himself, a little frantic,
then he'd have peace, then he would accept,
and like normal spectres, vanish down some
But facts and memories, like some enchanters'
blend, burned him away still,
a corrosive small hell--
neither decisive enough for eternal torment,
nor easy to escape--
a limbo for the failed would-be lover.
He thought that if he could talk things
out and understand the mystery of
passion denied, he'd find a peace with it;
but now he sits in the half-built,
tract home castle of his dreams,
lifeless before it functioned,
with only himself as tormentor,
only himself as haunted.
As with all the courteous departed,
abandoned in good grace,
with good grace,
chants at the graveside
wishes for peace,
he was never treated badly,
nor did he himself cause pain--
it's just that wormwood galls
and for years he's listened
to something that should have died
within him, and
yet burns away.