In my dream, the old house is sentient and hungry.
It keeps secrets, or it doesn’t, it gnaws through nights and bites
where her bedroom lockjaws the hallway, it kisses and tells
when Dad is given a token authority and Mom holds her breath.

Pieces of a nativity set float around, year round, as they did.
I find a shepherd in the bathtub. An angel in the pantry.
I imagine them now homeless, starless, savior-less.
The rooms have swallowed figurine narratives
                                                as they’ve swallowed living ones.

I’m a kid again in this dream.
As soon as arrange the shepherds and wise men around a
bald Jesus in a plywood stable, I will posture them
with plastic prehistoric carnivores, miniatures of ones
my Sunday school teacher insists were friends with Adam—
And I wonder what ate Adam. Was Eden as famished as this?
The studs groan. The house purses its jambs.

When I wake up, there’s a satiated quiet and no popping sound
In my jaw when I hazard a word to his sleeping back. The stomach
of this place doesn’t growl the way the old one’s did, but I still
check, in the pre-light of morning, for teeth marks.

 


 

Laura Page is a graduate of Southern Oregon University, where she studied English and Sociology. Her stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hypertext, Red Paint Hill, Kindred, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, TINGE, and others. Her chapbook, "Children, Apostates" is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons.