An old man smirks 

at the wet blood 

splashed about 

the broken frame 

as a charm 

against it all.


It is Fear, of course, 

who lingers there

like a sycophant 

tracing the edges of a room; 

for Fear is ubiquitous, 

a breeze which clings

to leaves fluttering

against a cottonwood’s branches.

So, you hesitate 

to turn the latch, 

to take the step 

to pass you through,

as if one empty space 

differed from another.

(April 3, 2022)

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