The unloved pipes

It’s not rats (there are no rats);
it’s the goddam plumbing cobbled together by some inept predecessor.
Knocking whenever the heating comes on,
clanging whenever the shower’s turned on,
clicking whenever hot water rushes through the radiators,
vibrating crescendo as a legion of ghosts pushes against the veil of sanity.
It’s not me (I’m not quite there);
it’s the house that doesn’t want these mechanical innards
pumping heat and water through its chambers.
Whatever balance there was tilted then broke.
At night I switch from the sound of films to the smother of earplugs.
The pipes’ whispers scuttle down my ear canal regardless,
squeeze between cartilage and foam,
and I dream of fire cleansing this house into silence.



B. Anne Adriaens currently lives in Somerset. Her work reflects her interest in alienation and all things weird and dark, as well as her concerns about the environment, which she addresses mainly through poetry and dystopian fiction.