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.