Basements

Outside the window, all the little roofs hit the same height, and all the little roofs hit the same height, and all the little roofs that hit all the same little heights are the same little roofs of my little thoughts; but the basements vary.

One is the family basement. The first level is my father coffined in my absence, solo-aisled at my wedding and broken. Deeper still is the place my mother went for those few hours, a floor I can’t get to no matter how many staircases I fall down. I plumb the depths and find I have not said goodbye to my dog and only half-heartedly wished my brother a happy maturation.

After A comes the basement of my body, a foreign little place with a foreign little language and a thatched roof. I am, to my knowledge, trapped in the attic and bound, only inklings of what other levels there must be to this house. But this attic is so cozy, and trapped or no all the basement has to offer me is more basement with the attic on my back; the surest way to break a house is to bring down its little roof. Some people like the stars but I would rather be dry.

This train is a basement next. I am looking at my hands like they are aliens when the sun hits them, floored by their fiery translucence and baffled when I realize I’m thinking about them at all, horrified by a woman a few seats in front of me whom I might’ve created (in which case I’m sorely disappointed in my mousy choice of hair color) but maybe am just staring at, all the while flying by the natural which is most unnatural when viewed at a hundred miles per hour and glassed, seated next to someone I know well but can never know but must nevertheless acknowledge when I want to go to the bathroom.

The roofs passed us long ago but now my eyes are roofs and my fear of spiders is a roof and my shoes are roofs and I packed a roof this morning and I exchanged roofs with my family and I heard a roof and I was raised a roof and I don’t know if I believe in roofs but they call that agnosticism which sounds too weak to be a roof and these messages are roofs and I was reading a roof and am writing a roof in a roof with a roof to a roof and this is a high-speed roof making all regional stops passing under a roof and the roof in front of me is flipping through a roof and I’m so worried I’m going to die without a roof or ever having had a roof and sometimes I hear my mother’s voice coming out of my very own roof which raises the question: whose roof is this, mine or my ancestors’?

Inside the window, all the little roofs are basemented.

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