Sacred Spaces

These are sacred spaces, and I have not lived here long.

I took over from this place’s former residents and consecrated it

with my own rituals and ceremonies and whispered my secrets

on the walls and on the floor and in the dark corners

which the sunshine has trouble finding.

 

It looks like an ordinary home, with living room and dining room,

kitchen, two bedrooms, two toilets and two bath stalls, one with a tub,

there is a storage space in a room after the kitchen. Just like every

ordinary home but this place is made holy, and it was holy before,

and it is made even holier now.

 

Here, is where I thought of dying, my heart cracked open and I lay still

for hours staring out of the window and measuring the space between each

rain drop falling, echoing the pulsing beat of my heart. There, I felt the rush

of electricity coursing right beneath the surface of my skin as I discovered

that I can cook pasta al dente and I can do it again and again and again.

The bathroom? It holds not just the whispers of secrets but echoes

with the sighs, moans, and heavy breathing of when we could not

contain the fires within us any longer and it burst out from the edges

of our fingers, lips, tongue, pelvis, and crotch and we tried to become one

and instead became a puddle of sweat, desire, and heavy breath.

 

Each room has a story to tell and that story covers another and yet another

as the days turn to weeks turns to months and turns to years

and the rituals and ceremonies of first times and last times and screams of joy

and despair stick to the walls like wallpaper and covering all that lay before it —

before me and before my residence, the person before and the persons before them,

all the way back to the secrets that were left here by the builders who built this frame.

This is a home but it is also a prison — No, not a prison! — It is a hope chest,

filled with little fragments of the past that explain the why I do the things I do.

 

I’ve gotten very good at listening to the stories that were left behind here,

even those of the ones that came before me, and every time I touch wooden panels,

the fabric of the couch, the glass of the window pane, my whole body reverberates

with messages sent back from time and I find myself not alone, though I am alone,

here, in a house full of ghosts of what has happened and what could have been.

And this just one sacred space out of billions left around the world.

And these are just the ones that are man-made. I have yet to even reach out

to the ones that came way before we walked this earth.

 

All there is is time.

All there is is reverberations of the holy.

All we do is prayer.

The profane made sacred by ceremony of habituation.

The value we place on where we live

because we live

and living is creating memories

and imbuing them into places and things

in the attempts that all we leave behind

is holy.

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