Home In The Past Tense

When did these walls
become more than plaster,
when did my breath
suffuse the moulding,
my skin scuff each idle tile –
Does a prison, eventually,
love its prisoned persons;
do their lives seep deep
into brick and bar iron?

These moments have bled from me,
streams, then rivers, oceans now –
One cannot hide so much time by
applying a coat of Renter’s Beige,
Institution Green, or Gentrified Gray –
Who will I be when this life is abandoned,
and will the wreck speak fondly of me?

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