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welcome to my house oh you have walked straight though to the ground floor bathroom and climbed out of the window

and you have spent ten seconds in the master bedroom establishing the jewellery is not what you were looking for

you stand in the kitchen wearing a sweatshirt with your address on and when you take it off your t-shirt underneath also has your address on you know I don't think you’re interested in my house at all

I’m not sure what you’re doing under the stairs but you’re the fourth person this week to look under there you don’t even have a torch

and there’s a perfectly good light switch at the top of the stairs and a perfectly good light switch at the bottom of the stairs but you climb the stairs in the darkness and then come down again in the darkness don't pretend to me you were looking at the paintings we’ve hung there

you’ve come from Canada to visit and you are reading each of the five needlepoint slogans slash aphorisms I have hung in the living room though I notice then you don’t even glance at the other needlepoints spread throughout the house perhaps I should put up a sign with a map of the other needlepoints you missed in case you would like them or perhaps you got bored of needlepoint

you tell me Fake Hermes Handbags sent you and I am suspicious that’s not the name of a real person

I leave a guestbook on the little table in the hall and you write a flattering paragraph about the house but there are several grammatical errors and reading it more closely I realise you don’t actually mention it’s a house the same vague flattery could apply to a car or a horse I think you are leaving the same polite feedback on everything you see for sale

as you walk through the front door you tell me you're looking for something but you won’t tell me what and I play a sort of interior I-Spy as I watch you stand in the utility room but you decide the something you are looking for is not here what did you not see oh visitor who’s vanished

you walk into the spare room and sit on the bed and pick up the book of poetry I’ve left on the bedside table and you open the book and read a poem and when you come back downstairs and leave the house I want to follow you and thank you whoever you are wherever you came from whatever you thought of the house whatever you thought of the poem

I’m thinking of extending getting an architect doing it properly a sun room would be nice I could leave a book of poetry in there in case



A.D. Harper's poetry has appeared in RattleLiminality, and Mirror Dance, among others. He lives in England and can be found online at adharper.com and on Twitter as @harpertext.
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11 Oct 2021

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