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I reach inside my empty house: as far as I’m allowed to go.
I reach outside my empty house: as far as I’m allowed to go.

Diana Nguyen, An Empty House is a Debt

              I’ve been amassing buried bones, ones ample to piece remains together. 

            I heard from a person that some of them are obscured in the stiff pockets of your pants, the residual hairs on your shaving blade, or the untouched chocolate candies hidden in the corner of your freezer. I sought to retrace these inklings to rebuild whatever I can out of these entities – they all feel like bones to me.

            Another person pointed me in the direction of your room. The first time I came in felt like I was traversing a land I’ve been to before, like I can discern the corners of your space and stumble upon recurring paths and signs, but I still felt lost. I do not know where to start because I only know the visible traces of your room. I have been too unprepared to hollow this out.

            It took days to rummage through what was once yours, and yet I cannot seem to name all the things which belonged to you – not when you aren’t here to lead the way. I cannot dig and search any further without a compass.

             But in the corner of your room, I found your stethoscope, rusty yet handy, and I pressed it on my chest to hear myself. And I was told by a relative that I should no longer be desperate to mine everything you’ve left behind. They weren’t clues and they didn't lead anywhere. Whatever I’ve been looking for – for life – is already within me. I did not understand. The remains you have left made me believe that you were lingering somewhere and that you needed me to find you.

            Because I refuse to see them rot.

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