By Christina Kapp

In the evening, children gather

to ogle the old house of many windows,

torn to an incomprehensible index

of jagged rubble and glass tears.

Already they struggle to remember

what it looked like, if there

had been faces inside, if bodies

had circulated within its rooms.

How loud had been the splintering

of a fortress? Could they still hear the echo

of the machines and men? Why did

all the good things happen when

they were shuffled away at school?


In the hours of darkness,

her audience called to dinner,

the old house remains, panting,

a tongue of flowered wallpaper,

her shocked mouth a tipped toilet,

the soft pink of her broken beams

wrapped around an empty belly,

concrete hips tipped sideways,

aching, but still strong,

sagging under shingled skin,

disheveled shock of black roof.


She rests stiffly in the silent postmodern—

the hopeless dementia of broken time

that returns to gaze upon her dissembled

form and imagine it again, constructing

anew, the bodies that abandoned her

blinking back at us in secret, charged

collusion of the eternal body,

boiling upwards from the brown earth.


Christina Kapp has published her short fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous publications includingBarn Owl Review, Gargoyle, DOGZPLOT, Pindeldyboz, PANK,, and apt. She has a M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University and is working toward her second M.A. in literature at Rutgers University-Newark. She leads the Franklin Chapter of the New Jersey Writers Society and is currently working on her first novel. 

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