We are sauntering through a sixty-page catalogue
of wooden doors: flush, frame & panel,
sheesham, teak— at page eighteen
I don’t want to do this anymore. There’s a village in South India
where there are no front doors— it was on BBC— neighbors
simply walk in, walk out. No doorbells rung. No knock-knock jokes.
Nothing to demarcate the inside
from outside. I have dog-eared pages six and ten. But you reject them saying
not welcoming enough. And I am shocked—
that doors could mean more than a means
to exit. In cartoons, characters didn’t need doors to leave rooms.
They simply bolted through walls leaving behind
shocked holes. Listen, I’m tired of rectangles,
frosted glass, rosewood.
Of porches, wrought iron fencing, false ceilings. Let’s carve out our outlines
into these walls— let’s hatch
into outside from inside the borderlines of our shapes.
Vismai Rao grew up in Delhi, India. Her poems are forthcoming in Salamander, RHINO Poetry & elsewhere.