We Lived in a Beautiful House
There’s someone in the corner.
He counts the breaths I take
smells out my chicken heart
stinks of something freshly dead
but this room is not big enough for two.
I push the bed
across the Chinatown carpet floor
he comes and sits on the end
he sits on my legs
he sits on my chest
until the stench of his hound dog breath
slaps my face.
He whispers, you know my name
you know my name
you know my name.
It’s true that I have seen him in dreams
the kind you wake from with sweat
but I’m a woman of no religion
so, when he calls himself the devil
I think maybe
he’s just someone I used to know.
We Lived in a Beautiful House by Hannah-Lee Osborn won second prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2018) judged by Dominic James.