Lately I am no longer certain

if the sound of a doorknob

turning heralds your arrival

or your leaving. Or just the seconds

clicking by. But I’ll take what I can get.

Believe me, I try to get my mind off things—

the borrowed shirt still in my closet,

an email that has yet to be read,

your arms unlatching from me

many nights ago—but I still turn

to the broken doorknob in the kitchen.

Now in my hands like a butchered fruit,

it holds a weight, cold polished girth,

that begs one for scrutiny. I turn its parts

over and over under the light, study its shank

and spring and plates, see what I can make

of its android anatomy, as I hear in my head

your common complaints: The key is stuck,

this should turn the other way, this locks

itself twice already. Just this evening alone.

As infants, we are taught how close-

open works, our palms blooming and

unblooming to the chants of our tireless

mothers. Our very first education

on simple mechanisms. Years later

I must have learned the lesson too well

to a fault, learned that any opening

is such a welcoming angle. So despite

the shutting of doors and the key

to my apartment left on the table,

I keep fixing, turning the knob.

I keep turning to you.

This literary piece is part of Katitikan Issue 4: Queer Writing.

By F Jordan Carnice

F. Jordan Carnice is a creative writing graduate at Silliman University and is also an information technology graduate at STI College. His works have seen print in Katitikan: Literary Journal of the Philippine South, Philippines Free Press, Philippines Graphic, Sunday Times Magazine, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, among other publications. He is a recipient of fellowships from several writing workshops in the Philippines and has served as a panelist twice in the Taboan Writers Festival. He has won the poetry grand prize in the 2020 Cebu Climate Emergency Literature and Arts Competition for his poem “There is Too Much Light in this World.” He has released two poetry collections—Weights & Cushions (2018) and How to Make an Accident (2019). He is also a visual artist whose works can be seen on the Instagram account @art.bullfrog

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