Domestic Sinkhole

The house is half-

collapsed; the kitchen,

coat closet, and a section

of the front parlor are all lost.

The sofa from which a family

watched their analog television

(also somewhere down in the hole)

balances on the edge of deep purple

shag carpeting. Some surviving family

portraits hang askew on floral wallpaper.

A picture taken at an unhappy reunion fell

down— so too a faded wedding photograph

of unsmiling ancestors and some staged shot

capturing a son’s soccer team. Dawn sunlight

exposes a swath of red wine-stained rug. A door

swings stoically on a copper hinge. An on-looking

child giggles and tells his mother the house is waving

at him, and he raises his hands in exultant recognition.

His mother doesn’t notice; she gapes in growing shock

down into the ever-deepening hole. She can discern the

shape of a ’97 Buick, a nightstand, and a refrigerator with

its door open. From the door, eggs, tomatoes, lettuce, onions,

a milk carton, sour cream, whipped cream, leftover pizza, and

beer, are pouring out like the blood and entrails of a gouged pig.

 

Originally appeared in Off the Coast, 2015

© 2020 Jack Freeman