The house of Mirth collapsed when the him-shaped brick pulled out.

We took up residence a few miles off, in Longing, wanting for the cause of not having, studying scrolls now bound & taking cues on rebellion.

The phone, promptly lifted, rests in that curve lips burn to brush, scripted speech, “Thank you for calling _____________. This is my given name, & the ringing in my ears remains unanswered. Is there something I can do for you?”

The house, though long-established, creaks in the night, unfinished, ribs of dark exposed, perfect for counting when our bodies turn for a change of position.

In armchairs, visitors whisper that he hung himself, but when barstools bring the story to light, he burst asunder; we find that hard to believe, but we need our pawns shined before sliding them across darker borders.

The fireplace heats only the living room of Longing, but we want for little, as books border ceiling, the rug before the mantle functions fairly as blanket, & when required to check boxes, we still cross over “Alive.”

If the four-digit codes ever fall, pop songs alluding to street-walking shake the stones, & ever-open lips latch to narcissism, never lack of self-esteem. History confirms this prophecy.

These days, thirty silver pieces suffice to buy a fifth of the cheap stuff; enough to slake our thirst & condense conversation to pulp.

On Mondays, Thursdays, & Sundays during the Summer season, the house of Longing recalls Winter & acquires such a draft body-blankets won’t settle to cover, so we solitary shiver.

Punishment bears multiple definitions: signing for agreed-upons never explained, sacrificing even the martyr title to exemplify “Evil,” a winking concept of a good time.

We debate record-keeping, settling on logging Longing metaphors: Stitched sleeves, sand flung in eyes, any number of scribble-scuses filling blue lines.

Red symbolizes death, sex, &, etymologically, cardinal sin, according to one scholar or another. Linguistics with no application of history also lend to confusion regarding La Cienega. You grant time to damning theory.

Communications begin to fail, intros forgotten, calls now answered with, “What’s your pleasure?” lead to shouts, lead to dotted lines where arms & lashes draped.

Time passes quickly within log(ged) walls, doubt expedited – There are many rooms, & nights I’ve spent alone lend to nights you’ve not.

The lens of storytelling shifts, & it’s really up to whoever’s talking whether the man acted as disillusioned disciple or simply shouted “These colors don’t run!”

I brace borders, extricating incestuous texts; Longing wraps rug around pages & limbs, safe in knowledge that fires mirror milk spilled to coffee, & this is my own.

The annex behind the bedroom leads to locked doors, when picked, open to a fort constructed from the rubble of Mirth. Ringing. Loose change & spare keys. Ringing. Sheet spread across dirt, off-white stains. Answer with “Goodbye.”