Homemade by Rin Stone

your sign says,
pointed at me,
your home five years previously.

I swear the floors have never been the same since you left.
No matter how hard I scrub the decomp stains cling to the old wood.

When I was Katie, you made her your home.
You changed her tiling, her lighting, her fixtures.
I would wake up looking out through my windows hoping that you would like what you saw.
Hoping that the changes you made helped me be a home better suited to your needs.

I begged my mother to let you move in and,
told her how awful your mother was,
told her how none of this was your fault.
There is still plenty that I don’t think is your fault.
I don’t blame you for wanting to rearrange my furniture to resemble the only home you’ve ever had.

So she let you move in,
and your vines grew through me,
rearranging my mostly vacant space,
and pushing out the few things I meticulously placed.

The new paranoid delusions,
I mean,
the new couch isn’t exactly what I’d pictured and…

The meth,
I mean,
the flowers on the table aren’t really my taste and…

The rent money disappearing,
I mean,
marble countertops aren’t really practical are they?

And on.
And on.
And on.
Until I look in the mirror.
I see your vines shrouding her small frame,
pulling her into the floorboards.
You have trained her not to fight it,
and she didn’t.

I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation but,
Katie and I have both lived here,
and I’ve spent a long time cleaning up your mess.

Like I said,
There’s still decomp on the floor.

But I’ve trimmed the vines away,
even though I still cough some up from time to time.
From when she lived and breathed you.
From when you lived and breathed in her.

I’m not a shelter anymore,
but I hope you find your way.

My name is Rin Stone, and I’m a trans guy from Alabama living in Portland, Oregon. I work at Powell’s City of Books where I specialize in Autistic and queer books. Most of my writings are songs, poetry, or journal entries about experiencing the world as a queer Autistic person.

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