The Black Napkin Volume 1 Issue 3 - Page 44

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use alternate entrance

by Ellen Webre

This is not the entrance you are looking for.

(It is not actually your apartment.)

This is the entrance you do not care about.

(Even though it looks like your apartment.)

This is an entrance that does not care about you.

(Your apartment would’ve cared a little bit.)

“Do not use this entrance.”

She says, but you are tired and you do not want

to find an another one.

If you open this door you will find a staircase

made of teeth. Crocodile teeth. Because

the landlady of this building has decided

to experiment with “artisanal architecture.”

If you decide to go in, you will find your

grandmother’s taxidermy bicycle

sitting on the mantlepiece, wearing

a straight jacket. Its eyes will blink

at you as you go upstairs.

This is your apartment, you will think,

never mind the undulations of the floor

or the hairs growing out of the walls.

Never mind the heavy breathing on your neck,

or how every window you pass by

fractures into screaming faces

that remind you of third grade when you

were too scared to skin a rabbit all by yourself.

You just want to sleep. There have been

riots in your skin, minced mushrooms and rotten

tomatoes that you have smelled since

the morning he left you with a burnt sneaker

and a handful of salt in the middle of the road.

You walked all day and night to get here.

Damn it all if you use an “alternate entrance.”