A Door like a Wound
The door first appeared in my backyard,
white sentinel among anemone sheets
unfurling on clotheslines. The next morning
I found it laying on the back row of the bus,
its glass knob rotating back and forth, back, forth.
Over the weeks I saw it roosted in the hair of toddlers,
stuck in the teeth of a laughing waitress, once
in a stroller where a baby was supposed to be.
Then one morning I woke up, found it embedded
in my palm. I tweezed the knob, pushed the door open.
Inside: a small room, bay windows, garrulous daylight,
a pair of boy’s shoes, a clarinet laid across a wooden chair,
and my mother’s voice, as if from a phone off its cradle,
singing some lost, some low-sweet tune…
I went to the bathroom, turned on the faucet,
held my hand under the water as if cleaning a wound.
Now when I press my ear to where the door used to be
I hear a knock-knock, knock-knock against my skin,
and sometimes, like old bones creaking, the whine of a hinge.
by Todd Dillard
from Empty Mirror