The Archive

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


As with all good tragedies, you’re offered a choice.
Two boxes; two doors; two boys with dark eyes,
Take your pick of the cliché, but you must make a choice.

In one box or door or boy you are loved.
It is here the wolves will never find you,
Wrapped sweetly in the gingerbread house,
Warm forever.

You do not love the boy.

In the second box or door or boy you are in love.
The wolves are all around you here,
With their vicious teeth sinking in to the tissue beneath the flesh,
Burning hot and freezing cold.

You love the boy but he does not love you.

You’ve tried box one. Inside the walls close in,
And you live forever without pain,
But the warmth and the arms and the walls all around you
Are too warm and too tight and too tall and you cannot escape.
The absence of pain becomes torture in itself.
Soft hands become claws and reddened lips are dripping, flushed with your blood.

The wolves cannot find you here so you invent them in your head.
They tell you with yellow eyes and snarling lips
that the walls of this gingerbread house are a perfect size
that it is only you who is out of place
with your arm up the chimney
And your foot out the window.
You can shrink yourself to the size of the box and be happy forever.
You can break down the walls and never see love again.

Door two isn’t a door; it’s a manhole,
Leading you into a maze of shit and revulsion
Where you wander aimlessly with bile  rising from your stomach
With one hand over your mouth and the other leading someone in your footsteps.
They do not want to be here. It is dark, it is disgusting, and it is
everything that you are to them.

Your fingers cuff their wrist and your eyes are set forward
In an attempt to be blind to how the tunnels are fast shrinking around them,
And that this cold, dank woodland
Where your feet tangle amongst roots of trees
And thorns adorn you like a bloodied cloak
Is nothing but a gingerbread house to them,
And that their eyes are pressed against the windows like peep holes
Searching for some way into the dark forest of shit and bile.

Your hand tightens against them. You are too selfish to let them go.

The wolves in your mind or the wolves under your flesh,
the door made of candy or the rusted manhole
The boy with the dark eyes who will love you forever
Or the boy with the dark eyes who wants to be free?

Your hand is on the door before you can pick a cliché,
Every ounce of you thirsting for the teeth of the wolves,
Thirsting for something more than warmth and gingerbread walls.
You don’t care if it hurts. You don’t care if you’re selfish,
You’ve picked your box, your door, your boy with the dark eyes.
But inside you’re not faced by tooth or claw,
Instead only by another choice of doors.

Summer Walker

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