But there was also the night we walked through a front door left open by a man we knew would not be home. A radio in the kitchen rained light murmurs through the hallway where we stood waiting to be caught. We once imagined being young meant forever chasing the day we would no longer harm ourselves, to speak to each other in a language translated from our injuries. From the entryway, unopened letters lay visible across the dining room table. We opened them because we could, wanting to discover a woman as desperate as we hoped to become, a car left running in the driveway should we need to escape, the house we found by following him home from work urging us further inside. We knew better than to seek out the bedroom, too afraid to open a door that might serve as a mirror of our lives— an empty room save for the bed, a man awake through the night, humming, reading, alone.

KERRI FRENCH’s poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, Sou’wester, Waccamaw, Barrelhouse, Lumina, Best New Poets 2008, and The Southern Poetry Anthology. Her chapbook of poems about Amy Winehouse, Instruments of Summer, is available from Dancing Girl Press. A North Carolina native, she lives and writes in Murfreesboro, TN.