i.
When the thunder comes, it shakes the walls
The earthquakes, mourn-shakes of a world as fragile
As an eggshell, at the edge of an ending-
a house balanced on a precipice.

ii.
 The Treehouse


  He paced and paced like a being possessed, his intestines whirling with the swirls of phantom oceans. Thoughts ran his brain a continuous circuit, shaking his limbs into a flurry. He wrung his fingers, shook his head, threw his footsteps along the wooden floor, sending a shudder through the house like a memory squeezed out of the heart’s chambers by a fist.
  There was the issue of memory, he thought. Life, fluttering through the map that gaped at him like a butterfly caught in a labyrinth circling about the cycles and channels in his life till, suddenly, it clamped down like a jaw; an untangled knot, winding into itself, an ouroboros with no tail.
  He had observed them, often. Between the dust, the dolls lying scattered with their shattered marble eyes; the empty treasure chests. A Victorian cellar, dense with meaning. Dense in the dust that saturated that air like a permanent miasma, like a purple-grey cloud colouring all his senses to the root of his being. And in-between-- the tree that wound its body around the shell of the empty house, shattering its empty eyes, leaving trails of glass splinters in its wake in the afterbirth of its florid jungle. And in-between-- the flowers, the dandelions and tiny pink flowers that crept around each corner and ledge, threatening the spaces and confines in a conglomeration of limbs, crooked and disjointed, rough bark strangling the wooden, rotting walls.
  And underneath-- a boy, eyes wide in wonder. Sheets gathered, stolen from his dead mother’s bedroom and wrapped around his body to keep the warmth close, sealed, shut. At the bottom, under beams of redwood-hued musk, a small fire of dead twig and tissue burning, illuminating the cellar in a wreath of warmth. And above, circling upon the rotten ceilings, a suspended halo danced like the operetta of angels caught in the shaking of embers.
  He watched the boy from afar, a disembodied gaze. He saw himself in walls, in cellars, in-between the living tree that grasped the wooden house in the deformity of birth. Watched him as he reached into his sack and took out items: an apple, a crusty piece of bread, an eyeball taken from his father’s socket after he had- like the rest- stumbled over the ridge.
  He watched as the boy squeezed his body into the cramped space of the rotten treehouse, letting the fire warm his hands, his skin, his pale, shrunken body nourished by pale embers, meagre games, stories suspended over a childhood bled dry by too many sorrows.
  He watched as the boy arranged the items around his makeshift altar. He watched as his mouth gaped, releasing words into the frigid, still air sparked by a paltry fire.
  “And once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a palace of glass. And he fought a mighty giant with a sword of steel and eyes of diamond. And he met three witches, who gave him three gifts. And with his gifts, he defeated the giant and lived happily-
  -ever
  -after.”

III.
A dream

  Film-like: twisted oak in a confined classroom. The classroom is old, the desks are in neat rows, the air is humid with the grating choir of wooden floorboards. Ivy creeps unruly about the floor. Emptied of the laughter of children, the classroom contains a sacred, still kind of silence- the silence of the woods. The oak is beautiful, very beautiful and very old. His arms pierce the rooftops, and below, the rotting wooden floorboards. The tree is in agony, I can feel it. I am doing a documentary about this: the oak's tragedy of getting trapped in a confined space- the whole internal monologue. 

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