I Am not Lonely. by Richard-Yves Sitoski

I built a mansion on real estate 
between catching Z's and washing dishes.
I am not lonely here
though it's on a hobo's unshaven chin of hill

with nothing around for miles.
The rain leaves black streaks on windows 
and causes flowers to bloom and die 
quick as cobra strikes.

The house is huge
with taxidermied dodos
jars of pickled aliens
and shelves of books in Linear A.

It is as warm as an 84" wooden box. 
I built it for my parents.
I still get their mail.
I am not lonely here

but oh I am lonely here
if you know the difference.
If you don't know the difference 
you don't know what love is.

You don't know why I keep
a lamp lit in every window
till the day my parents return

or the day the curtains catch fire
and the whole damned place 
burns to the ground.

Richard-Yves Sitoski is a songwriter, performance poet, and the 2019-2021 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. He is also the designated Artistic Director of the 2021 Words Aloud festival. He has released two books of verse, brownfields (Ginger Press, 2014) and Downmarket Oldies FM Station Blues (Ginger Press, 2018), and a CD of spoken word poetry, Word Salad (2017). He came within 8 years of obtaining a Ph.D. in Classics.