College Roommate, by Mark Ward
You glued matchstick boxes together,
idly painting windows through which its
denizens could see out onto their world,
safe in the knowledge that outside eyes
would just see paint. It took only a week
before I built the house I grew up in, barely
a month before my desk was monopolised
by my home town, yours growing fungus-like
hidden on a large sheet of cardboard tucked
away under your bed. Our towns’ desired
conquest, conglomeration. Your houses
took on my hometown shade, my buildings
bridging neutral spaces, open ground.
By Christmas, we were a city full of windows
through which we let ourselves look
safe knowing that others would just see paint.
Mark Ward is the author of Circumference (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His work has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Assaracus, Tincture and many more, including some anthologies. He is the founding editor of Impossible Archetype, an international journal of LGBTQ+ poetry. He blogs erratically at http://astintinyourspotlight.wordpress.com
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