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Spring/Summer 2021

Outside the Door, a Universe

Caitlin Thomson

The fur coats of the wardrobe
give way to trees. 

The witches pinch
space and time together 

to cross into a world
where everyone bounces balls 

on the cul-de-sac sidewalk
at the same time. 

When I hint at the despair
that makes up my body like water,

a friend says
There’s a whole universe out there

as if that sentence is full of hope, not
empty of oxygen. 

In the photographs of the moon
we cannot feel the chill against our skin.

I’m trying not to open the door
to the rest of our universe. 

Instead, I spend time with
my children in the closet, 

surrounded by dirty laundry
and the baby dolls they’ve managed 

to drag in there. This is the
amount of universe I can handle,

even if the laundry never gives way
to the soft crunch of snow or scent of pine.

[Check out Caitlin Thomson's back porch advice]