Houses stood in rows for miles
of blocks. They had been there for decades,
awkward reflections of each other,
with slanting roofs. No earthquake
destroyed them, no teenager discarded
a cigarette in the summer heat, there was
no way to blame it on the weather.

It was as if the wolf visited,
but instead of blowing them down
from the outside, he opened
the doors, entered, and inhaled.
In less then a minute a house could go
from three stories to nothing.
No one ever saw the wolf.

But people watched as neighbors'
houses collapsed in on themselves,
like magicians' tricks, til blocks
were dotted with broken shells.


Caitlin Elizabeth Thomson

Jeremy Miranda, Northern Shore (oil on canvas)

Poet's Commentary:  

Most of my poems are set in a world that looks like ours at first glance, but it contains unsettling differences. It could be ours, but you know it's not, because houses self-destruct and people vanish. When I first saw Jeremy Miranda's work, I felt like he was painting the world that I was writing about.