To call a place home
it must have a door that
will swing both ways:
one to let you out
if you want to go out
and one to let you back in
if you want to come back in.
Every door into and out
of this place appears to be both
but is neither. It doesn’t matter
what you want. It doesn’t care
either. It’s not the place
you first thought it was
when you first entered and
when you left after learning that
it turned into a different place again.
Home becomes graveyard. Graveyard
becomes garden; garden
becomes train station; train station
becomes a corner shop; corner shop
becomes a stereotype, a seedy foreign port
from a movie you find one night
while searching for a new place to call home
or a map back to the old place
you once called home
that never was but at least
you could see doors there
if you squinted.
Standing on the steps;
friends and people you know within,
glimpsed through familiar curtains.
If there’s family they must be
in the interior, hidden from view.
It all looks like Christmas
or a casual visitation after
a formal wake. In your hand,
suddenly, is a key you half hope
will break off in the lock
and keep you safe out here.