Open like hell is opened

to the damned, like the heart

collapsed in on itself

or like being three nights

without sleep, in a room

of false friends.


Open with the wide smile

in your pocket, with layers

of socks to cover your wounded toes.


Open as a modern kiss, as

a dream in need of interpretation.


Open, though hiding would be nice,

and under the books on the shelf

is a message written in dust, uncovered.

It is telling you the change has come:

Your stomach is full of restlessness.

Your eyes are new with a strange indifference.

The change has come.


Open like a woman in labour,

or like a butterfly caught inside a storm.



Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “The Stray Branch Fall/Winter 2016” October 2016

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