There is a steel door,
it’s heavy, requires my feet
firmly planted, body shifted,
I must tug with my biceps,
abdominals, squinted eyes,
clamp my jaw. With all that force
it may budge, open a crack.
There are more doors:
oak, redwood, chiffon, plastic,
all lined up in front of me.
The paper door is weightless,
easier to pull. Shows me dirt –
not as spectacular as what’s behind
the barbed wire door, I’m sure,
I wouldn’t know, never opened it before.
Time is lined with walls of doors.
The more trying, the more triumphant.
I hang on to handles, hoist one open,
a gust of wind scintillating my skin.
For that brief moment, I know why
there are doors in rows, why
I build myself up to open okra,
and why I touch handles to try
and pry open particular doors,
while others are better left closed.
JULIA GARI WEISS