Dream Home

I still remember the floor plan.
It’s amazing what a small child remembers.

In the front door.
Ahead: the steps I fell down once
when my feet were still wet from a bath.
(I was fine, but startled.)

Left: Dad’s desk and open space,
a space for a video game called Socrates.
A space for tiny electric guitars one Christmas.
A space for Pretty Pretty Princesses.

Right from the office: an exercise room.
One of those weird, many-purposed
early 90’s cardio machines.
I asked Mom once what would happen
if I worked out while I was eating a banana,
and she said I’d probably make myself sick.

Circle right into the kitchen.
Where flour covered every single surface,
where someone cut their hand
trying to chip away at a giant block of ice
made out of red punch,
where the benches doubled as storage space.

Out the kitchen and past the front hallway —
bathroom door and cupboard left,
basement door right —
the living room straight ahead.
The home to games of lava,
of bouncing against the back cushions of the couch,
of flicking popsicle sticks behind the entertainment center.

Out back:
chicken wire to keep the twins from slipping out
between the boards of the fence.
A sandbox (I ate some once)
and a covered playhouse where we tried to summon rain.
The above-ground pool where,
if we had enough people circling the outside,
we could make a whirlpool.

Back inside:
slide down the basement steps
with legs trapped inside a pillow case,
thud-thud-thud-thud-thuding all the way down,
a sharp turn right at the bottom onto red plaid carpeting
where you could draw with chalk and then pat it away.
A pool table we ruined with potion,
a game where you had to guess what the smell was,
the original Nintendo for the original Zelda during the original layoff.

Then up, up, up the stairs
to my bedroom.
Where we had sleepovers
even though we all lived in the same house.
Where I stored leftover pizza
on the ledge in my closet
(or maybe it was under the bed)
and made myself sick on it every other Friday.
Where I broke two snowglobes —
one in the bathroom when I dropped it,
and one while throwing a faberge egg onto my bed
while I was packing.

Packing up to move away.
Moving first to one home and then another,
more floor plans I remember,
but both so much different than this one —
the first one I remember.

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