This one seems holy; the backyard overflows
with ivy, crawling over fences,
into neighborsí yards, curling
at top like music notes, multiplying
over the back of the house
and up the roof mysteriously,
like the garden on the roof of his friendís apartment.
Unexpected greenness burst over ledges; everywhere
moths. I was seventeen, sipping Coronas as his hand slipped
between my thighs. All was quiet except for rap music vibrating
from underneath where the rest of my friends danced and smoked
and laughed. No lights except for stars that he named and pointed
out like distant relatives. Down the street stucco houses lined the street
like statues. Curtains closed
and all the world slept. But Iím in the mood for nostalgia.
Iíve moved nineteen times. Give or take. Iíve lost
track and all the beds and kitchens swirl
into one house with several doors. This must be why
I love doors. Old doors. Screen doors. Yellow doors. Weathered doors.
I like to walk through arched ones at churches, twisting each knob, imagining each hand
thatís been there before, crossing lives with someone,
like strangers at drive-thru windows. Once while in New York
after drinking in bar after bar, shaking hand after hand, dancing
to song after song, my friend and I waved off the taxi and walked
to our hostel. Drunk and happy; every door seemed so interesting
and inviting; we opened a red door that led into a red hall
of closed red doors. There wasnít a man behind a desk. Just low
lights and jazz music. We guessed it was an upscale
brothel and that there were gold brass beds with red velvet
and chandeliers dangling from the ceiling inside.
We didnít want to disturb the love between the strangers
and so we giggled our way out. My favorite door
was all glass. It led into
your room; a square waterbed. After midnight, Iíd slip
in my spot, curled under your arm and stare at the black bottom pool
outside, my body swimming beneath me. Letís stop
here. After viewing fifteen houses, I want to love this one
the most. Like I love the boy on the roof--vulnerably--the way
I open like a lily. I want to love it like strangers
in a brothel--momentarily--as if at dawn, we turn to red
dust. Letís love it like this--
all the world is glass and weíre safe inside. My body, your body,
their bodies, an entanglement of a million small lives.
Liz Scheid received her MFA (poetry) from California State University, Fresno. Her poems and essays have appeared in Mississippi Review, Third Coast, Terrain, Post Road, DIAGRAM and other literary magazines.