About the Feature

Photo by Trinity Nyguyen on Unsplash

how “gracious” means “large”
at least with respect to houses
and maybe also old or beautiful
the first time I was in a house
one might say this of it was
a suburb of Boston in high school
for the day with my friend
while her mother taught Saturday
classes at the community college
we lived two hours away
the reasons for teaching in Boston
I don’t remember understanding
but were some proportion
financial and emotional
need as it was where
my friend’s mother was from
and wished to return to
returning home
we stopped at her friend’s
house late and with a long drive
ahead to our exurban 1970s split-
levels and 1950s ranches
it was Christmas time
it was a brief stop on account of this
to eat cookies in the size
of the kitchen its lived-in excess
of things light and warmth encroaching
darkness large furniture cold
night tired already and a heavy table
its chairs a question
about spaciousness is who
it gives itself freely to is why
love a city for the houses
you cannot own but also some
houses are places that let
you enter and cities are
made of faces
of houses are anyone’s

About the Author

Katie Naughton is spending the 2022–23 academic year on a research fellowship in Vancouver, Canada. She has chapbooks available from above/ground press (Study) and Dancing Girl Press (A Second Singing) and poetry in Fence, Bennington Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.