[poem by ~burning woman~ ]
Sharp footsteps clack evenly
Down the old faded-gold hallway
With blistered hardwood floor.
Rain beats the window pane,
As wind blusters, impersonal, cold.
The front door like a thunder clap
At two thirty five in the morning
Slams so hard it fails to latch
Creeps back slowly on dried hinges
That creak like skeletal bones
Rattled from a dusty sleep.
Now you know, now it tells you
Even the ghost of her is gone.
All you can feel, all you can hear
Is the slap you gave her in the night
When she asked why you lied.
(“Now I predict the future / merely by listening to echoes. A slamming door / can tell you everything you need to know. It’s not a trick / only a simple matter of wisdom, an obsessive attention / to dreams.” — Mary Jo Bang)