For Michelle

It’s a gut renovation or tear-down
No one who can afford waterfront.
I watch my wife.  Sun glares

Through her childhood bedroom
Like neon tracing white vellum
Lines around her eyes

I’ll take the bleeding hearts
She whispers in our bed
And the slate stones

From inside, I want the sounds
Audio keepsakes. Houses, it seems
Have timbres, keys, riffs.

She used to fall asleep listening
To her mother’s shower.
Busy day washing warm away.

Wake to the breakfast-rattle stove-top,
Wait for her tread on the stair,
Click of the doorknob she touched.

People are taken, or go
In flashes of blood anger smoke
Or slowly, as passages close.

What’s left is the lowing
Of windows in storm
Creak-ache of wood glass and iron

Till these too are silenced
And only their ghosts
Roam through fresh sheet rock pipe tile.

Can she transmute solace
Into pulses on circuits
And hold memory in the palm of her hand?

She doesn’t wake
As I curl myself to her
And listen as if for an answer.

But I hear only her breathing
And my heart in my ears
And outside, unceasing, the rain.

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