If There Was a Book About This Hallway

David Berman


 
It would start, There is a road within the home

some pine slats in the corner

and lamps along the walls that give the path an endlessness
at night.


I remember the day I left the meterman standing in the hall.

In my room I drew his hard apple face as he waited
in the cold shade.

No matter how slight, it is a scene from history.
A scene from the book.


Are dreams set in hallways because the perspective is screwed?

Or because they are the long, open, unused stages in our homes?

The hallway was a dry riverbed I dreamed one night,

              an Indian turnpike on another.

(And it may have been those things before the house was here.)


I never heard the meterman leave but saw he was gone

when I went out to hang his sketch on the wall.

Sour furniture-polish winds rolled down the dark corridor.

Once a fir where each door now stands.


If Christ had died in a hallway we might pray in hallways
or wear little golden hallways around our necks.

How can it still be unwarmed after so many passings?

An outdoors that is somehow indoors.