To Each Other

by Kerri French

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.