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All the Stones That Built Me



In this house are things:
a boy, a lantern,
dead mice, silverware,
running water, screams.

There is filth in this house,
and there is a mop,
and the filth is mop,
and the mop is filth.
And there is me: mop and filth.

This house is a broken Louvre.
In it, I do not have a face,
only a coin ... on the floor ... 
In its shimmer—ghosts pushing me off the roof,
daring me to fly.

And the bedroom?
We sleep when we are dead.
The kitchen?
In this house, we break not bread but stones and promises.
How long have you died here?

My mother lived in this house when I lived in her.
She was many a thing:
a girl, a dark room, scurrying mice,
rust, dripping water, silence,
and at the end, the last spoonful of canned beans.
They collect, dancing on the ceiling, the memories.
They cry, they howl,
they put a bounty out on me.

How do I quell the place that built me?
Set fire to all your bones.

There is no dreaming in this house.
I want to dream that I was old.

About this poem

Source: Poetry (April 2022)

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Written on 2022

Submitted by Drone232 on May 31, 2022

1:07 min read
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SOMTO IHEZUE

Somto Ihezue is an Igbo writer. He loves white-soled shoes and the smell of rain. more…

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    "All the Stones That Built Me" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 7 Aug. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/128421/all-the-stones-that-built-me>.

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