Evan Neiden

somewhere there is a house,
                             and it is filled with laughing.
              the small things that make a history
              make the fireplace glow brighter,
                            and there is always food on the table,
                            and snowflakes in the windows shut out the street-lamps,
                            and shadows sit nestled in blue velvet chairs.

the last time i saw you, i saw you there,
in the house so filled with laughing.
              you were throwing photographs into the fire
                            and drinking something red out of a plastic cup,
                            and there were snowflakes on the windows,
                            and when you weren’t looking,
                                          your shadow moved without you.

i used to think the house drank all the laughing
               that the rest of the city fell silent
               that the street-lamps went out one by one
                                             because each shadow was the history of someone else
                                             who used to laugh in a house of their own.
               but the brighter the fire,
                                             the more shadows appeared,
                              and the bluer the velvet,
                                             the darker the rest of the city became.

                                                           our history burns there too, beneath the firewood.
                                                           our history         burns               there                    too.

i was just passing by,
               but in that moment,
               i seemed to stand still
                              and the house filled with laughing moved alongside me
                                            as if pulled on a string through the snow;
                             and the street-lamps went away,
                             and you went away too,
                             and the fire was the only light left in the world.

                             and I laughed

                                                                                                       when the house was gone.


Evan Neiden is an NYC-based writer and performance artist. They make poems out of Jewish folk tales, big band music, childhood synesthesia, black licorice, and wrong numbers.