About this Piece

I wrote this piece a while ago, experimenting with poetic prose. I focused on the feelings of being a millennial during the housing crash.

A spindled figure with skeletal hands and white skin stretched like elastic rubber bands.

This is what she has become.

— A withered, nervous creature teetering on the edge. On the edge of what, she isn’t certain. She hesitates in the doorway, wearing clean faux leather boots and an acrylic grey sweater, child-stitched. It tickles as she rubs the cracked skin of her lips together.

She tastes metal.

The door stands before her, solid wood, intricate iron knocker, and metal handle. The mirrored panels at the top are warped, tinted with light blue. If only they were clear— but the eyes are narrow, dismissive.

She is not meant to be here.

She thinks I must try, and grasps the handle with her bones, wincing when the knob does not turn. She lets go. Swallows. She looks for a spare like they do in the movies, under the welcome matt, in the pot of flowers, and atop the porch light.

No one has left her a key.

The lie she has heard over and over, and over rings in her ears. One day.

                                                                                                                                                    One day.

One day.

She taps a rhythm with the knocker. She is shouted at instead. The words mean nothing. They are the promise of a different age. The terms and conditions have expired and she is left flailing in the process.

She wants to scream. Scream until her throat bleeds, till the sound chokes, and she is open-mouthed and soundless. But her teeth are glued shut. Wouldn’t want to upset the neighbors, now would we? She doesn’t know they’re just cardboard cutouts set behind the windows.

Shoot for the moon, they said. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

Now they say, kill your dreams.

The wooden panels of the porch turn to quicksand beneath her feet. Splinters and nails envelop her ankles and legs, pulling her away. She claws back toward the handle, straining her limbs.

Maybe if she held on long enough it would open, maybe she could pick the lock with a hair bobby, maybe, maybe, maybe

The pulp of wood drags her down, wrenching the doorknob from her fingers. It gurgles, swallows, and heaves, spitting her back onto the trimmed lawn coated in sawdust and capitalist lies.

This is what she has become.