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Doors, desks, and plexiglass panes
arranged just so—some anonymous designer’s
attempt at morality: sit here, look there,
see how the view fits nicely in the frame.
Down corridors industrial beige,
past Kodachrome bluebonnets,
other sanctioned portals wait. More doors and walls.
More whiteboards, tables and chairs.
till you reach the end of the hall, wait for the elevator
to take you up or down.

But I am the heretic smashing sheetrock,
crawl between walls, wade
through drifts of pink insulation, follow pipes and wires,
watch what flows in and out unseen,
grab a forgotten wrench, pound a window
till the shatterproof shatters,
leap thirty floors above the street.

Yeah, landing could be hell,
but what a fall—four seconds of wind and gravity
and perhaps never meeting the pavement.
Grab hold of some feathered hope,
drop to a slanted roof.
And so what if concrete is terminal,
only hobgoblins require doors and walls.
Neither fire nor love—neither basement nor clouds.
And that’s okay too; it never was about a destination.


Alan teaches creative writing workshops in at-risk schools, and  sex-ed at a UU church. A trustee of the Dallas Poets Community, he is a poetry editor for their literary journal, Illya’s Honey. Somehow he still finds time to ride his bike, wander in the woods, look at birds, and photograph dragonflies. Recently, his poems have appeared in Red Fez, Sentence, Main Street Rag, Borderlands, Sojourn, and the Texas Poetry Calendar (2009 & 2010). You can hear Alan read one of his poems in the September issue of Fogged Clarity.

© 2010, Alan Gann

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