The Staircase

The dream was one of those that comes
late in a sleep cycle and doesn’t let go quietly
as morning inches towards the light.

There was a winding staircase of stone and wood
climbing a shadowed hillside.
It was in my hometown, 
near a service station off the highway.

It led to a house that filled my entire body 
with dread, like a horror-movie skeleton 
curling around my chest,
whispering vile words into my ears.
A place where edges blur and shed.

Bad things happen in this house.

Somehow, eventually, I forgot I’d had the dream.
And then, months later,
I went home for a funeral,
wearing black ceremoniously.

And now I was in the car heading home.
I didn’t ask to go this way.
My sister didn’t know, but
she drove us past a large hillside
near the service station off the highway.

And I saw the staircase.

I was too afraid to stop and see what it led to. 
Because I knew.
I knew why it was there,
I knew why I was there.

There are many people
inside the house.
There are many rooms
within its walls.
There is an altar and a stage.
The people wear black and gray. 

I didn’t ask to go this way.
But I knew why I was there.

Photo by Lisa Fotios


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