No matter the decoration,
they remain Antarctica bleak,
empty as the Sahara.
Stuff will not suffice;
bric-a-brac remains invisible.
The best music merely echoes:
Beethoven, Vivaldi, even Mozart
cannot fill this void.
Clocks clang like church bells
and every muted footfall
screams out loneliness.
They are places to pass through
where you reside but never live.
Even the most inane realtor
couldn’t call them home
with a straight face.
They are shelter for those
not quite descended
to the bridge abutment.
They are where you wake up
alone into stillness
and pretend each morning
you are still alive.
They are the difference
between survival and life,
breath and inspiration.
They are the preordained
end of the game
you were forced to play
and doomed to lose.
We get but one home
and, if destroyed
by folly or disaster,
forever after,
wherever we go,
we remain lost
in the wilderness
of rented rooms.

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