Our home would be the ruinous ruin whose bones were swept from door by mothernew. Sisters, sweet and bittersweet, string daises over the altarpiece, drape hand-stitched quilts over the wedding-bliss marital bed. This sun-blessed room, where strange creatures once spilled blood, will be where the ladies lay their heads.
Father’s place is at the hearth, where he, restless, wakes to stir the coals again, warming stone floors, keeping creatures black-i and hungry-i and evil-i away. Just once a month, when the moon hangs swollen, full, outside the paneless windows, newmother goes to him, and lays down inside his blanket. i think of her shimmering, slithering, scaled movements as the fire gasps out. i think of her as just another beast.
and watch with uncomprehending i from the eagle’s nest, the stone tower, the silent clock-home, unsleeping in the windswept spire. the way of boys, these sisters say, is to keep watch and stay away.