The way you'd renovate a ruined house,
stooped on hands and knees to scrub

the floorboards, wheezing against the dust
into the crook of your arm, blinking back a

stinging, watery stare, strapping on a mask
to scrape the corners and scrub the china,

holding your breath to toss out the contents
of the cabinet, the way you'd scrape to the

mortar brick, remains of mildew, ripping out
the dry wall, scraping blood and dirt from

tattered fingernails, grimacing at the water
line just high enough to seep between the

books that line wall, which will have to be
thrown out with the rest, nothing saved,

not this time, all tears aside, down to the
depth of the basement where no one's

stepped in years, with stacks of photos
rotting, down to the core of the place and

every memory within, from the frailties and
human errors in foundation to the most firm,

still determined to endure as they cling with
both hands to the dreams and nightmares,

down here the ruins cry, "Fix me,"
but plea as pitiably, "Love me as I was."

down to where the wreckage weeps in the
source of the pit, the corners of the crypt—

the abyss, the irreparably damaged.