I am standing at your door
and I can’t walk in.

My hand is on the knob
and my heart climbs
into my throat, it throws itself
against the back of my teeth.

It knows there’s no safety
caged up in muscle
and bone, it knows. Thorns
are starting to grow
on the white roots of my ribs
and my heart is a rabbit
caught in them
and getting scratched.

It keeps trying to
bolt for the mouth
of the burrow hole
but how do I tell it
there’s a snake
coiled up outside?