The Terror of Doors
April Ossmann

The Terror of Doors

No one considers the door’s terror,
++++++held so tenuously
by such flimsy hinges, longing

++++++for an axis so awe-inspiring
only its god could open it,
++++++avoiding endless submission

to the careful and careless alike—
++++++the sideways swinging fall
as the universe shoulders in,

++++++banging the door
against the wall.
++++++Doors want to stay

in a frame’s familiar embrace,
++++++though a rebel
slants and swells so

++++++as to reject it,
bestows a squeaky kiss
++++++on a fraction of its width

but refuses the fit,
++++++preferring to stay
where its bottom found a seat

++++++on the equally unruly floor.
And a querulous door
++++++sometimes bangs so deliberately

in unperceived breezes
++++++as to unnerve its owners
with seeming agency,

++++++an urge to escape its fate
and go winging off
++++++after something

unimaginable in space.
++++++The knob turns beak
or aeronautical control stick

++++++to steer past stars,
the frame abandoned
++++++to examine its navel,

and the wall, never elated
++++++by the hole put in it,
now a toothless mouth,

++++++a rectangular “O”
of awe or terror, as the gods
++++++of chance advance.

April Ossmann

is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books). Her work in The Cumberland River Review is forthcoming in Event Boundaries (FWB, 2017). She received a 2013 Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant for the manuscript-in-progress.