The speaker in the poem (who is not necessarily the poet) is reflecting on the home where she used to live. The speaker refers to herself both in the first person—“where once I received love” and in the third person—“that woman died.” The content, along with the shift of person, emphasizes the distance in time and a change in identity.
The speaker uses a number of images to show that the house is abandoned and to exaggerate that sense of distance, such as “snakes moved among books,” “blind eyes of windows,” and “an armful of darkness.” One notable simile compares that darkness to an animal; it would “lie/ Behind my bedroom door like a brooding/ Dog.” The speaker finally switches again, to second-person direct address, calling the other person “darling.” By adding a question as well—“you cannot believe, Darling, can you . . . ?” she also implies that the idea of that loving home might be more fantasy than memory.