is her inability to get past the foyer. She lies
in wait until you open. When you do she
darts in and bares her teeth, flashes her lovely
thighs, knocks you to your tiled floor.
She does not let your head crack, cradles it in
white feathers that gleam and slake the light,
and admits that now that she is in she cannot
decide which way to break your heart: whether
to take you there, on the floor, kneeling, discomfited,
or lead you to your bed and lay you on the down.
Now that she is in you allow her to look at you: fully
undressed, dutifully quiet, trembling. She strokes
your shoulder, smoothes your hair, and you shiver,
close your eyes, relax into the fear, open them
only to your door ajar: a crushed trail through
the azaleas tells you she has left you again.
Illustration by Amy Payne.