Dalet (door): part 4 of The Red Letters

The door is open and the lantern lit;
the light that issues out is soft,
alive and licking about my ankles

like mist off early morning.
Like home, the smell of bread
settles into me and rises.

Etched deep in the cedar doorjamb
the inscription “Come” in red beckons
inward, homeward, so sweetly

the word is solid, piercing the ear
if I turn to the left or the right,
and the voice so familiar I hear

its silence. From that word emerge lines
of text that uncoil in clips and phrases,
great breaths distinct and measured,

connected only in their succession.
The words, I can tell, are meant
for me, and as they score the wood

they cut into me, too, leaving
beautiful scars. As I enter,
the sense of arrival churns

excitement, and breathes for me
a breath I had forgotten.

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