“Poison House” – Poetry by Cassandra de Alba

Haunted House – Thomas Moran, 1858

Our Winter 2015 Issue is home to a number of wicked buildings– like “Poison House,” one of three deliciously eerie poems contributed by Cassandra de Alba

{ X }

Vines that grow when your back’s turned,
greedy for more noxious air, the shimmer
of purple-green haze in all these rooms
empty in the middle, edged with low,
plush furniture that might conceal
knives, jeweled cages where snakes
and lizards lie with one eye half-open.
Heavy curtains on the windows,
blood-red velvet you’re afraid to touch.
Old-fashioned light switches,
two buttons, and none of them work.
When you get the nerve
to force a curtain open, you’re greeted
by a wall of foliage against the glass,
stalks and leaves twisting toward you,
away from the sun. A bird
caws once, then goes quiet.
You let the curtain fall back into place.
The noise of the house, silent at first,
seems to grow and grow –
a rumbling whistle like a teakettle
seconds from boil, a clicking
of mandibles or molars, a little voice
that whispers from every corner
all the secrets your loves
thought they’d kept from you.

{ X }

stcCASSANDRA de ALBAs work has appeared in Skydeer Helpking, The Nervous Breakdown, and Vector Press, among other places. She is a grad student in the greater Boston area and can be found online at outsidewarmafghans.tumblr.com

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