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what waits in the basement

by | Sep 11, 2023

the usual suspects:
a net of clotheslines ready to snap

the yawning mouth of the washing machine

the spinning heat of the dryer

wires dangling everywhere: alarm, doorbell,
cut phonelines, electric for outlets buried behind walls

the flaking floor leaning downhill to a too dark corner
a cedar closet filled with dead moths

half a bedframe
shelves full of dried paintcans, rags, turpentine

and, unique to this house
the safe, large as a person, door propped open

but who’s to keep a child
from shutting the door

and no one knows the combination
to the locked strongbox inside