In lieu of tar, daub black strap molasses
over every bulb. Watch the rich brown syrup drip
drip into the carpet, soaking each nub to the root.
The wind squeezes in beneath
the flaking windowpane, cold limbs whipping,
trying to rid itself
of the sticky clumps of cobweb.
A box of porcelain doorknobs hunkers down
in the fallow backyard. Hidden ruts, easy to trip over
in the snarl of cast-iron brambles.
The sky the color of a tooth. The earth hollowed out,
rotten and begging to be yanked.
Who will come to patch the hole,
to cover the pit with thatch, to fill
our gaping gums with shining silver?
Who will rescue the scorpion
that fell into the open can of paint?
We listen for the thwack of the machete
cutting a path towards us through the ivy.
We dab turpentine behind our ears,
sniff for the match flicked onto the bed
of curled crisp leaves.
They find us out on the road, face down
in a puddle of ink, the rubber tires
grinding loose gravel, our lives
gushing from the twisted pipe.
The ceramic magpie whistles, singing steam
from its open beak. A moth flutters, glued
by its guts to the glass. A paper fan
snaps shut. A fraying rope of smoke
twists toward the chandelier,
its strands dissolved by the glinting crystal tears.