dan chelotti

The Door This Door Peers Through


If I were to write you, I would write you with a red pen to make you feel as if you were in     school again.

The clock on the wall would tell more than your horoscope, and would be read as if you      
were reading a letter.

I am sad; I feel lanterns hanging from roofs will drop several centimeters tonight;

I say your name only because I have a knowledge of automobiles;

I say your name because you said it’s vogue to say “lacustrine,”

Not the glacier receding several centimeters every year,

But you are healthy and, look here, a broken music box filled with leaves.


This letter was derived by the Phoenicians from the Egyptian hieroglyph for Crane,

A mask I’ve made for the trees,

Weighs three times the weight of the featured somnambulist,

This letter is a lemming that refused,

A harbinger of patient nestling in the neck of a soldier you don’t want to wake,

Don’t wake, this letter is only a sarcophagus, flesh-eating stone.


The caryatid that followed me here is resuming her stance,

And there you are thinking I’d gone and forgotten you,

About the sparrow you hide in your name.

Don’t worry, I’ve spent many years attempting the perfect freehand circle,

It tells me the clock you carved from mahogany tells only one time,

And the time it tells says:

Don’t wait for me,

To ease my horses I buried your language with a lodestone, a compass,

And the map that tells me exactly where to dig.


I’m not sure exactly where our state will end;

All day I’ve stared at shadows enact a Noh on a barndoor:

The peasant turns into the thumb of the emperor –

I wonder, is this really the last I’m to see of you?

Is there a certain way you water the lisianthum

Again, I will be the one to wait for you.

I will stand atop many steps,

I will be holding a phonebook,

I will say Timor mortis, my open door, disturbs me.

«±  ±»

dan chelotti's work has appeared in The Boston Review, Tarpaulin Sky and Kulture Vulture.




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