No Body’s Home

Dust-covered and deflating, empty and waiting, the Sofa sat wanting and fading for years.

He cleared space in His closet, covered up every bone, bought Her on credit, a promise of Home, and one wounded day, 

She wondered how she wound up alone.

she stopped being a front-room fixture the first time He flipped her, ripped her open, and spilled her insides out by the fistful across the carpet like a thrown-down shag atop cracking floorboards. 

He tucked her into the comfort of the spare room for a while, and like a child, 

He pulled at her loosening threads and dead-weight-body-dropped against her softening head, then before bed bent her over and tore her open again.

she held her shoulders high, braced her hips open wide, said nothing this time when He tried stuffing white back inside, and she smiled when He called her a love seat.

He stitched her back together, and then when she was better, He promised He would let her leave the Lights on, but instead He started sleeping on the day bed.

she moved in with the drapes, slate-colored and hanging in the stale back room, Windows shuttered shut, and soon she was barely breathing, somewhere beneath a pair of crunchy socks and a forgotten bitter beaten moth-eaten sweater.

she still felt the weight of Him on her shoulders, but her days were growing colder and the quiet getting older and older, and old laundry odor seeped into the souls of her bowing-out feet, and she slunk deeper into her eyes-open sleep.

she woke up one winter weekend, with weakened arms bending backwards and neck breaking open and found herself buried in the basement, splitting apart at the seams.

she saw herself in pieces like garbage discarded, her beaten empty center seat revealed her broken heart, it shook her to her feet and the whole house fell apart when 

She vowed that one day She would fill a home.

Long lost loved ones, the Light Bulb flickered on, the Windows threw their arms open wide to greet her despite the frost of the morning, and the smiling Engine light of an old friend revved up and readied to drive again.

Like the claws of a starving, screaming Animal scratching every instinct into the yellowing wallpaper, She made Her way up the narrow stairwell and climbed around the hallway corner.

His closeted skeletons came dancing down the hall as She crawled, pulled at Her hair and cut at Her wrists, but beaten hands over bloodied fists, She fought Her way to the bathroom.

she saw the mirror over the sink pointing at the deep brown and purple bruises pressing into her sat-on skin, asking if she had ever been new before? 

She shoved on, wrapped Her body, shoulders first, around the final turn, and pale peach-colored pleather peelings sprinkled along the uncovered flooring as She squeezed into His bedroom and saw a brand new lying flat mattress face up, sheet covered, queen-sized, and laughing. 

With all She had left, She slid Her sewn together pieces across the floor, reached for Her freedom, pried open the front door, and as She heaved herself one heavy foot at a time through it, the threshold, a silver-tongued sticking point, tripped up Her splintered feet and said simply: I’m sorry.

Worn down from dragging herself against the ground for so long, she let the lie land softly on her broken arms, her sunken chest, she paused to catch her brittling breath, and He brought the whole house down around her.

Brick by broken brick broke down and crushed her, the trash bin threw a fit and spit every rotting bit of relationship back onto the kitchen table, the faucets fell open and sobbed until she stopped, and the bathtub promised it would always be there in case she needed a place to drown after all.

her car sat sullen and silent, sinking on its slashed open tired feet.

He smiled through the door as He unscrewed every remaining Light Bulb, lined them up in brown paper bags and stomped her lights to dust. 

He swung the arms of her wide-open Windows back together and slammed them shut and shoved the sauntering sofa cushions back against the still standing walls, and she stayed.

Dumb-struck doorway closed its gaping mouth, locked itself back up, and promised to shut out the prying eyes of concerned neighbors, old friends, Mom, Dad.

Dust-covered and deflating, empty and waiting, I sat wanting and fading for years.

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