If you want to sell your house, they say,
make it look like you don’t live there.
People can’t imagine themselves living
in the space if you are still present.
I don’t know how to disappear, I say.
I can’t erase myself as I leave every day.
How can I leave this house to someone
without imagination enough to see it?
Just three years shy of one hundred,
our house stands on stones and stories;
it can’t be a blank slate anymore than
we can act like we don’t live here.
Our laughter and longing have colored
the walls and settled into the carpet.
Our feet have worn down the stairs;
our hands have fixed what we have broken.
Real estate is measured in square feet;
the imaginary estate belongs to those
who can see themselves sharing space
with all who helped build their home.