Lazarus House

Lazarus House

A Poem by Anna von Österreich

I looked down into the dark

between the floorboards

where demons come knocking.

When silence hung heaviest

I could see a man in there

tapping at the tiles of his room;

"it's just linoleum," he'd say. 

I didn't know what he meant

but I dreamt about it plenty;

the way the tropics had storms.

I'd peek into his purgatory 

for a glimpse of what he had

going on at different hours;

"water damage," he'd grumble. 

I'd see it pooling in the cracks

where the tiles had slipped loose;

sinking lower each time I saw him. 

When he looked up he saw nothing

or at least I assumed as much

because he never waved back;

"angels help me," he'd heave. 

I wished I were an angel or

that I knew any of their names;

I was honey under street lamps. 

In the room below the floor

I imagined the only thing he ate

was ambrosia with his hands;

"amen," he'd sigh without prayer.

Wrapped up in the absent chapters 

of a man who didn't sleep at all; 

a disembodied gypsy head in my walls.

© 2021 Anna von Österreich

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A voyeur is a watcher of the physicality of another. What term applies to a watcher of souls?
Is there a term for a sensor of pain, distress, discomfort, when those maladies are torturing another? I don't know those words, perhaps I simply don't want to learn them, if they exist.

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Added on February 21, 2021
Last Updated on February 21, 2021
Tags: lazarus, house, dead, old, angels, red