far above my head is a red door

Robin Wyatt Dunn

Every winter is near to me, carved above my head in black, like a rotating eye, fixed into the rock face. Each lesion in the skin of the rock marks the corridors of the runnels moving down, like musical notes through a viscous fluid much thicker than air:† magma sound. The eye of the wall is a door, from which I may escape if I am able to climb, but it is far above me, trembling like a delicate loverís cheek, set in tension from the mountain of sound of the city circusing above her, aliens and airplanes and horrendous wars, peacetime treaties, the parade of two dozen years of history, painted over the sides of skyscrapers, far above me in her hair. †

The window of the door is a dark red, like wood, umber wood, stuck with the color of congealed blood, a scab who invites me, when I am ready, to move out of the room and return to my home, a home who is alive, a being with walls, terrifying to me, but far enough away just yet. †

The being of walls inside me is like the being of walls without, named onerously by my fathers in the way of paranoid medieval villagers, after secret gods who keep the ways safe in and out of the mill, near the stream, over the arc of the hills towards old temples whose names are unknown but where you can hear the songs of gods, radio stations still transmitting, long after they have been destroyed. †

I see the exit, its dark eye hovering above, like the eye of a great serpent, flexing down upon me in his lair, though he is long asleep, and his eye turned to glass and his body to stone. †

The feeling is entirely one of contentment, as of a hot bath, full meal, and pleasant walk, down into some wasteland who has no shelter, nor thought of any, where you can lie down in silence and see your own thoughts catch against the wall like gnats on a screen. †

The perforations in the rock—a Braille-like order curving up towards the dim light—stretch out from the red exit like circular waves, arms of light. †

Perhaps it is I am who the eye, looking out at you, waiting for you to escape, to take you into my body, and its mazes of the sky who await behind the door. †

† †

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. He is a graduate student in creative writing at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

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