Hungry House

A.R. Riley

Rough red imitated wood.
Glass splashback.
Smells like the forest and river water.

I can hear someone typing in the other room.
I can hear the wind.

The walls are red like dark cherries.
The mosquito painting is on the wall.

I was young here once
but I stand grown and tall.

The countertop is white.
The kitchen lights are low.
I used to sit atop the counter.

This was a beautiful house
but I never felt beautiful here.
No one did.

The atmosphere is fractured with sun during the day
it is shadowy at night with the warm lights.
Always uglier in spirit.

We loved this house.
It did not love us back.

The walls are red like dark cherries.
It is rough to the touch and smooth to the sight.
Reaching high to the white, geranium ceiling.

The cherries run down the hallway,
over my parent’s doorframe.
It spills, crusts, and darkens
to the red wood floor.
I can disappear into it.
A vessel hug. 

This wall is a vein.
The life vein that carried
throughout our house.
It gave us breath
and sustained our daily
walks back and forth
along the corridor.

I loved this house.
I drank from its fountain of nostalgia
and sipped at the ambrosia tang
of childhood memories I knew I would make.

But the house did not love me back.

As I drank from it, so the walls took my essence.
Sucked and lapped and licked
at my blood.
It became redder and redder the more I sacrificed to it.

As I loved it—
so it craved more—
so I craved more. 

I wanted that deep vessel hug to encapsulate all of me,
disappear me into the tissue of the house,
drown me in cherries and geranium.

A.R. Riley is a Third Year Creative Writing student with a penchant for dramatic fantasy stories and poetry that follows no poetry rules. They love medieval swords and strong coffee.