The Shitty House at the End of the Street (Poetry)

Five days a week, sometimes six,
As the train carries me back home,
When I’m passing through Belaskoenea,
The train leaves behind an old brick wall
And a view opens of a working-class street,
At the end of which you used to live.

Every time, a hollow ache fills my chest
Because you will never be here again.

Their walls are dirty with downward streaks
From decades of rain releasing the grime.
I forgot in which of those apartments you lived,
But I had sat against the wall, on dried piss stains,
For the chance to hear you play the guitar.

I avoid remembering my past;
My brain bombards me regularly
With everything that I’ve done wrong,
Or that has gone wrong on its own,
So I don’t need to put any effort
To recall those series of painful moments
That involve failures and disappointments,
But nothing that feels like happiness.

Through writing I create new memories,
Which feel stronger than the real ones,
As if I were hacking into my brain
To take advantage of its primitive functions.

Even when I am at work, or trying to sleep,
Your ghost now haunts my desert spaces.
You make your presence known every day
By leaving traces on my mind.

I close my eyes and I return to that day
When we sat in front of each other in a restaurant
As we shared our first meal on top of Monte Igueldo.
I took a photo of you that I would have cherished
For a thousand lifetimes.

I remember when I woke up early in the morning
And I walked up to the second story of our house
To enjoy my warm coffee on the balcony
That overlooked the neighboring, wavy countryside.

I remember when I witnessed you walk down
Towards the library at Hondarribia’s old town
To join the attendants of a writing course,
And how proud I felt because you had dared.

I remember you sleeping next to me on a bus
That was taking us on an eternal journey.
I feel your warm hand in mine
As the sights of Cantabria pass us by.

I remember when we took a walk at night
While cold, thick raindrops fell on our heads.
We stood in front of a wooden fence
And we gazed upon the distant lights
Of an industrial city you had never seen.
Tears ran down your face, and you told me
That all the pain had been worth it
Because we ended up right there.

The back of my eyes burn
And I have trouble breathing
And I want to hide in the dark
Whenever I recall what I did to you.

In one dream, you and I were alone together
On this silent island floating through space.
We talked about our lives, shared stories,
And discussed how we could change.

Away from reality, away from the world
Where humanity gathers to destroy itself,
Those who live inside their imaginations
Are always alone.

My life has become a small room
Without windows or doors.
In this little cell of emptiness
There is only noise and pain,
And no one inside except an echo
That repeats itself over and over.

I’ve never missed the skin I got to touch
Like now I miss yours.

How much longer do you plan to stay?
Please, just leave me alone,
Disappear from this rotten world.
I can’t afford to keep crying anymore.

In the end, it’s a good thing
That you never existed;
Reality never got the chance
To ruin you.

‘The Shitty House at the End of the Street’ by Jon Ureña

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