How You Heal a Haunted House

How do you fix a haunted house?
How do you reverse the damage done?

You scrape the mold from the English Rose wallpaper,
scrub the blood from the wooden floorboards
(from under your fingernails).

You walk through each room and hallway
not unlike a specter yourself,
sage-smoky fingertips touching, lips chanting,
heart splintered raw but unafraid
(when the worst has come to pass,
what’s left for you to fear?)

You tell the house, you’re safe,
I’m safe, safe as houses.

You brew jasmine tea and bake chocolate-chip cookies,
light citrus and fresh-cotton candles,
read aloud from your favorite books of poetry,
play classical music and classic rock alike.
And when it’s time, when both you and the house are ready,
you open the gates wide and let other people in,
sharing in their joys and heartaches,
sheltering them in your many wings.

The house releases a long-held sigh
(or maybe you do),
and a little pocket of the world
is rendered right again.
Avra Margariti
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