Walls by Darcy Shull

The wall in our old house has a crack,

Not long, but deep

Like the crack in my skull

The one from last December

When the Cadillac hit and we woke up in separate rooms.


Sometimes I stay up at night

And I walk in circles around our neighborhood

Because I forget I am already home.

Our house is in the middle of the labyrinth

But if I am Theseus, you are Ariadne

And I have left my ball of string behind.

I am no hero.


The only reason I ever knew where I was

Is because you were there too

And that was home because you told me so.

But I have left you on your island,

And can’t find the way back.


I was never good with maps or directions

Or even remembering which drawer holds the silverware

or which cabinet the guest towels go in

But you knew where everything belonged

So with you I knew my place.


Without you, I don’t know what color goes with the new carpet

But I took all the paint swatches

And my tangled ball of string

and laid them out on our bed

And I never slept there again.


The crack in the wall will never be fixed

and the walls will never be painted

And the guest towels will have to learn to live with ours

Because I can’t remember how to get home.

I can’t see our house in the dark.


But I remember the crack in the wall,

And sometimes, if I squint just right,

I can’t see it anymore, either.