These Rooms


Ally C.

Tyler Jungbauer

Listen to the sound of the waves

     as they billow against the cliffs,

     and, with the wind in our hair,

     follow me into the house of memory…

These are the rooms

    I have known

    since childhood’s first sunrise.

These are the rooms

    filled with the silver liquor

    of memory’s will;

    they swirl with the movement

    of the fallen stars

    at the bottom of the well.

These are the rooms

    painted with tears

    and tinctured with smiles;

    they taste like dust and salt.

These are the rooms

    I shall visit every night

    at the moment suspended

    between darkness and dawn,

    the moment when the mind remembers

    what it means for life to swell in the lungs

    of these tattered, worn bodies, like the way

    waves gather in gray tufts around ancient cliffs

    the color of spilled midnight on a white tablecloth.

These are the rooms

    where you and I will talk

    even as the clock stops.

These are the rooms I may never see again,

    where the flutes will raise their high-seated voices

    against the sound of the wind in the trees,

    just as the valleys overflow with nostalgia’s fog.

And these are the rooms where

     the flutes will sing their songs barren,

     even as the days tick away

     like candles on windowsills.

All in all, though,

     these are the rooms

     where I first met you.

All in all, though, these are the rooms

    where worms ate the carpet and the walls

    couldn’t stop themselves from falling down,

    and though the windows will always frown here

    as they grow sleepy-minded and forget our faces,

    I will always smile as we clasp our hands here

    before the mirror and turn back our minds

    to the first ticking of the incessant clocks.

So, all in all, these are the rooms

    forever founded in the gray past,

    where the future kindles in our eyes

    and warms our hands before the photographs.