WINDOWS AND DOORS

When I was six I heard there was a place
Like nowhere, like nothing.
And four went strolling, hand in hand:
Through pinks and golds and clouds and swells
Of music,
Smells and people, always.
Crowds, not like before.

The images are hazy
But my favourite.

When I was eleven I said I couldn’t.
I wouldn’t. There wasn’t anywhere the same.
It had held onto my chest and something
Ached and someone smiled
And said “Okay.”

We lived inside a forest.
We walked inside a castle.
For days inside my head was calmer.

When I was sixteen there were no windows and no doors.
A low buzz. A hum. A throbbing shoulder from
Talking heads. A dread
That wouldn’t leave, but
In the corner a piece of magic:
I knew where to look
And we have to go, WE HAVE TO GO.

Home sweet home, the wrong way round.
Sat on the doormat with the sun in my eyes.

When I was twenty-one that mouse was family.
Those lands were perfect. They lived
In my brain and things were brighter.
Popcorn. Blisters. No use for dark eyes;
Mascara disappeared
With hot, happy tears. Hands held tight.

He waved at me!
He remembers me!

When I was twenty-four I walked right in, like
It was a familiar house without a scent.
Nothing dulled it. I saw hugs last
Forever, tiny me in the mirror and
I wished for time to s-l-o-w.

Can your friends do this? I bet they can’t.
Mine think that it is odd.

When I was twenty-seven that ache came back. No,
I lied, because it never really went away.
My dreams are full of flying; I see London. It’s
A pirate’s life for me. It’s a small world, after all.
It’s a thought that hits me in the stomach:
This place is real. It exists.
It’s like nothing.
It’s like nowhere.

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