A Haunted Lateral

Hardwood sloped to the door
bent lath, tongue and groove bough
westward groundward tilted
porch with fear of sliding.
Two reliable aloes
three survivalist cacti
one failed violet, two cats.

Sometimes a spiral of grey cloud would follow lengthwise
everything sloping down
in there. Flattened like a palm
and pushed the sun out. Once
witnessed a barn owl swooping.
Along the dorsal, Baltimore’s spine
flat face glow in the dark with its
flow. Wings whooshing digital
feathers - Forward, lateral,
holy spirit mine.

I woke in the dark
to a reptile alarm
five days a week, common
oblivion of small mammals. Had coffee, fed the two cats,
packed lunch,
had kitchen, had lamps, had research wireless and on paper,
had visitors, had taken myself
to the deli and had
walked home happy.

Three mountains peaked
in those rooms, rapids in the
hallway, lightning in the
baseboards, thunder in the
plaster. Mice in the ceiling.
The night before it burned up
I saw one coming down
the staircase casually
for the first time.

Lindsay Raspi was born in Baltimore. Her writing contemplates feminism in the context of subjective experience and broader technocratic power structures.

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