the house: a poem by furqan mohamed

the house

furqan mohamed


they say when a system fails,
it’s as if there are termites in a house
eating away at it
destroying the foundation, the walls
creeping up the staircases and the halls
until, not long
after
everything is inhabitable

a house serves as a neat metaphor
for systems of power that often fail and crumble

for reasons undisclosed by ...

well, let’s call them the butlers
or better yet

the upholders
the ones who uphold the pillars of supremacy and oppression that’s vile
all the while having a smile motioning us to a welcome mat stitched and fixed with the skin of our ancestors
so pardon me for thinking the problems of this house go way beyond termites


there’s poor lighting in this house,

too dark for anything to grow except resentment

nothing good ever is created in this house, the foods all bland and filled with empty promises

i can taste it


the attic is filled with secrets,

the cupboards ever so full, drowning whoever dares to open them with its contents,

so we shut them

allowing them to become someone else’s problem


this house is dying


but what if I told you that there are no termites

no insects running a coup or takeover

that this house, the one you want me to mourn so badly was already a mess

a hell in which pretty upholstery upheld an undeniable fact

a pretty system, I mean, house

is insufficient to the people who have lived in them and those denied entry


i will not wait for your “termites” to take over and eat the square footage

this house should be condemned, or better yet burned down

and i volunteer to start


right here

right now


Emily Blake