“Haunt the door” by Christine Robbins

Haunt the door

By Christine Robbins


“The duende … won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house…
Federico Garcia Lorca


I hear the slide
Of a shotgun
Racking in my mind.

Mud spreads in the rain,
Spreads along the path.
Rain pools


Among the stones.
The creek
Continues to rise.

I’ve fired a gun
A few times. The bullet
Cut a line in the air – I tore

The skin of the sky.
My house was built
By a flooding creek and the water

Continues to rise.
I’d enter
The past with a gun.

I’m afraid of a force
That sheds so much sound.

A woman
Slept by her window
And a stranger came inside.

May she curl
In the snail of her mind.
Another stranger, I

Would offer her my dark,
May she wrap herself inside.
I hear
Angels drive her in light.

Crumbs on the table,
Weeds through the stone,

Eroding in water.
The door is glass.
And my room is mostly glass.

And I’m afraid of a watcher
Behind the parted shades.
I’m afraid

And a gun’s in my mind.
I’d enter
Her past with a gun.

The steps leading down
To the bay are under water.
Wet as what’s hidden

In the living.
No separate rooms
For the ones who go easy.

It’s the angels
Who drive you in light.

They did not find
The poet’s body. And they did
Not find. I’d enter
His past –

The door is glass.
Come in. And the room
Is mostly glass.

And I’m afraid
I’m becoming
The haunter.

Crumbs on the table, weeds
Through the stone, landscape
Eroding in water.

Mollusk mind –
I slid its eyeless face
Inside. I, too,

Have come to eat.
I’ve cut and been cut
To my need.

Find the children,
Bring them inside.
They’re gone

But their names are the words
I still whisper.

If I offer you my fear,
I fear you’ll cut me down, oh,
Out there in the rain.

I cannot haunt
The house entire, I’ll try
The space between.

Dirt on the glass and it streams.
Glass obscuring
A darkening sky.

If I wake in the night,
I won’t approach
The bathroom sink.

I have no need
For someone else’s well.
I’m afraid of the window

Reflected in the mirror’s glass.
Of my own face rising
And the blank eye

Watching from behind.
When I am the ghost,
I’ll take absence for me.