When Vulnerability Calls

When Vulnerability Calls

The sense of muffled footsteps, then a knock at the door,

gentle but persistent like spring rain,

pots simmering on the stove.

You don’t go,

though your job is thirsty work

and my parched throat, drained of liquid sound

that now trickles through my veins, adding weight

to limbs pinned fast to frozen ground.

Your palm turns the handle, the familiar twist

I check three times before nightfall

in case the ghosts visit,

whispering sweet nothings through the walls.

You all seem the same, at first charming,

lighting flames to torch the halls,

taming the spirits to trust the floor

like they could melt my muscles malleable,

like their words could make me move,

escape the labyrinth for the chance of absolutes

to find you stoking an imaginary fire,

breathing in the smoke of untruths.