Aaron Boothby

What does a house need she says only to be a good house not even very many rooms.

A few wardrobes full of clothes that know the songs by heart. A bed her body can lie in with sheets that are cool a noise from the street like the rushing of waves a place to make food for herself and sometimes for the ones who come.

With nymphs as the mistresses of stairways opening in every curved mirror. Greeting when she ascends and descends. Who guard the hidden doors leave traps for trespassers when they enter the house when she hasn’t asked them to come.

A house only needs to protect her to be aware of and repeal threat. To make itself a place where threat is not. Where they are not where their certain-world is banished.

Quiet enough to cry in or have pleasure in to press herself against finding resistance in herself to love herself the way she wants without any need of them.

That knows when not to open any doors only to the ones she’s invited.

With mirrors that show them only what she sees in them which is a threat. They’ll see back through themselves if this isn’t terror the house will let them stay.

Most of them will flee she says they won’t stay to make her softness become hardness they won’t see her sadness as weakness as a way in and they’ll not leave her body a flayed thing.

A house that’s a dress a form that’s believed in offering a kind of protection. Not only of image but of space and of texture. Between their eyes and what moves underneath the skin.

It’s better to not always name precisely what form. Naming is arriving in a way that’s exhausting. What form does the house take does the dress is it the form she feels safe in.

Where anyone not capable of losing their form is not quite welcome. They say a good house is a welcoming house but welcoming to whom. They say this because they like to ask questions they like to make her an exile in her house.

She has learned from herself too much for the question that asks are you serious as a way of asking are you real as a way of saying you look so much different now.

The house that protects her is absolutely serious this is why she loves it.

Not a grand house just a good house only two rooms. Where she has a right to be illuminated not asked by their questions what’s madness when they both name and cause her madness say she traumatizes herself with her ritual of writing.

She says I don’t need to be told how culture is a continuous orgasm their pornographic dependency of the image if only the house is welcoming.

She sings to herself she thinks it’s been very long even without knowing how long since I sang to myself and to her. She passes the nymph who is mistress of her bedroom and takes a robe made of softness.

A house where she says I can echo I can be and listen to a chorus of myself where each of the array of voices can expand as it wants. Quiet enough to listen to them.

When she asks for it the house will give her the sound of a waterfall rushing down the stairs that begin behind each mirror. The sound of bells of all sizes ringing only because it is morning.

In the room with her bed she sits in softness in the house she says I can love. The hanging curtains sprout boughs of ivy she says they’d ask why it’s because I want them to. Grapevines grasp along the walls with bunches of red and hanging fruit.

She takes an orb in her mouth and bites through the containing skin to a flesh that bursts in her mouth with a pleasure that’s not an image.

Tendrils of new growth spread out across piles of clothing and the carpeted floor becomes a thick covering of moss. Through the window comes a light that’s not quite daylight and not quite the final hour of night she says this is a good house I’ll stay here.

Aaron Boothby grew up in California, lives in Montréal and makes texts which most closely resemble poems. Work has appeared in Axolotl, The Puritan, Whiskey Island, and other publications. Tweets appear @ellipticalnight.