Unlock Me

I hear you whisper.
Silence is the girl hiding
in the closet, her fingers in her ears.
“Get out now. You are a window, open.”

If I could find the latch, if my hands were strong,
if I could lift that window up, feel the cool
salt air of tears drying on my skin,
I would throw one skinny leg over the ledge,
remembering falling only hurts
while air hard as a fist punches up, into my stomach
as if I’m not even allowed gravity.

I’d rather lie on the sidewalk, blood trickling
from the corners of my mouth, my eyes wide open,
while boys on bicycles stop to see if I’m dead,
than live immersed in the smell of hatred.

I heard your fierce momentum, anxiety breaking over me.
I wanted to fly into your warm and deep arms,
wanted to grow lilies for the crystal bowl
on your table. I could not unlock you or leave you
even when I knew the shock of the sound of the slap
would keep me asleep for days. If you are love,
then what is cold? If I am a voice, why can’t I speak?

What music is correct for the dinner never served?
How many closets will I hide in, hearing your voice,
begging me to understand I did this to myself?
If I had only listened to you, given you the key,
not been so selfish, wanting to keep myself
to myself, maybe I could have trusted you.


Published Rio Grande Review