Three Doors

opening into each other,
clumsy as wallflowers
at the prom. Wood panels,
porcelain knobs, antique
enamel chipped and peeling.

A hallway lit by bare bulb
directs you to a kitchen
where an ancient gas range stares
down the long dark distance
where thousands of meals have gone.

Pass among, not through, these doors
not to get anywhere but
to sort yourself phonetically,
alphabetically, and by height,
weight, and right or left preference.

The doors stand around waiting
for someone like you to acknowledge
that the space they’ve divided
still accommodates the human,
with no remainder to parse.


William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and teaches at Keene State College. His most recent book of poetry is The Suburbs of Atlantis (2013). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals.

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