You Knocked

it wasn’t a knock at first

you were running from yourself

in your frenetic pace

you bumped against my heart

I had it padlocked and barricaded

an old woman

living alone and afraid

in a formerly genteel neighborhood

now overgrown ghetto

grassy dilapidation

punctuated by peppering gunshots


behind all my barricades

curious and trembling

I peeked

through heart’s peephole

your ragged breath

and soulful eyes

screamed lost puppy


death- gripping the deadbolt

I slid it back

cracked the thick door ajar

both slightly breathless

(you from your marathon-sprint,

me from anxious palpitations)

we spoke

through the steel grate


hours later

we were chatting

leaning against opposite doorjambs

your breath now even

mine slightly less held

I unlatched the grate

offered you a drink

to quench your avid thirst


my heart protested

creaking and groaning

louder in subsequent breaches

you heard the ancient screech

of rusty heartstrings

unstrung and stretched to poing-ing

held my gaze

steady, warm, unwavering


I felt the fire of your soul

in the glancing brush

of your arm against mine

when I said you could

step in, shelter

from the elements

now you are ensconced

snug inside my atrium









16 thoughts on “You Knocked

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