Oyster Boy Review 06  
  January 1997
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» Levee 67


You Lock Everything

Terry Spohn

You tell your friends you live in the city because of the culture, but you lock everything. In the distorted lens of the peephole they could be anyone. Just to let them in requires opening three locks. And after all this, wallpaper descends in scrolls from the walls, a small white spider hangs from the ceiling in the bathroom. The steam pipes are restless. Even the closet is dangerous. You are carrying too many keys, parting the blinds with your fingers, listening at the door, your own door, and now at last you've bought a gun.

It doesn't matter where you keep the gun, it fills the darkness. This is where art comes from. Inspiration is crouched everywhere, about to leap. Your empty hand aches and your life begins to fill from the top like a cartridge. Now that you have a gun it watches you like a small bird alone in a dry tree. Now that life is dangerous, like your fist in the darkness, you dream of your home, an empty tree in an empty field.

It is the middle of the night. You can hear a plastic cup skitter down the sidewalk and then stop. You are here because in your heart there is a wheel that will not move anywhere but around itself. When the snow begins to fall, the empty gangways filling with white hands, your eyes fly open like window shades. Someone is breathing in the bedroom.