Under the spindlework arch of the wraparound
porch, no one ever thinks they’ll expose
the original hardwood for its kindling. But no one

ever likes the wall-to-wall carpets, the disco granite,
the open concept concept. For every wish
for character—the toilet, sink, and clawfoot tub

a demolition green—there is an equal desire
for move-in ready, for a home’s lines to be
as clean as a bowl. At the bay window, a buyer

draws imaginary curtains when she says she wants
to feel the outside when inside. Another wants
to start a family, so descends the narrowing acreage

into the basement she’ll make a cave. When one
ascends the budget, the other makes to slash
her throat with her index finger and the ruin

I imagine spills evenly across the split-level stairs.
On the couch eating cereal, I see myself flash
on the screen gone black between cuts, and soon I too want

to gut the entryway for its potential, want to carve the suites
until what’s left is a plat of bones and my stomach full.