Half Drunk Muse Poetry


When One Door Closes by M

“The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.” —Rumi

You are naked when they storm the door;
I engage in some futile struggle to cover you,
a profane virgin in the temple
of Vesta. I needn’t have bothered.

They brought the sheet—white cotton,
meager thread count, standard size for beds
and bodies. I make of that cloth
a sail, set you to sea like a lauded chieftain

on a Norse boat, but ships do not sink
in desert dunes. I give you to strangers
instead, transfixed until the van’s metal aperture
slams shut on your story, my sagacity.

Failed provider, I have left you in the cold
with the thinnest of fabrics, no coin
in your mouth. The entry to our home remains
ajar for days, a broken yew strewn across

the threshold. When that passageway closes,
I am traitor, treasonist wife who deadbolts
the door against a husband unfaithful
enough to die. Harbored in my hand, your band

of gold, their archeological find. I swallow
the ring; it cuts through the larynx gone
tight in my throat, and in my stomach
it turns round, full, and open.

View bio for M Published in Spring 2006

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.