Undone by C. Dylan Bassett

The body knows things

before we know them. It feels

them without tongue or need of drum:


I knew something was gone

from our home before I saw it. The door

once party-painted blue (with a butter-bronze


blush) was rust-thin and red.

I came home, no

smell of orange, no


cinnamon. Only two empty wicker chairs,

a forgotten view, some webbed things

revealing ambiguous amounts of time.


I came home, the air was shocked-still

and only Father sat, head-hung,

at the head of the table.


It takes something more than love

to build a home. To build a home

one must imagine love as a crumb.


A crumb, and you must be starving

for something other than bread.

And you must think of life


without gold, you must think

of a sharp gale, a narrow bed and cold,

open spaces.


To build a home you must allow

certain vowels to elope

with ease, and shapes to float.


Of course, when I came home

my father didn’t say that, he only said,

She’s gone and she took the baby, too.



Image by: Lee Cohen