Where does that hallway lead? Illustrated by Jerad Walker

Where does that hallway lead?

The architecture of my dreams: hallways
in red velvet, broad as betting parlors,
spaces that signal transition—always—
and sometimes I come to a subtle door
that opens into a dark earthen maze.

It’s familiar but not particular.
I begin squeezing down the labyrinth
until it’s wide as I am. Yellow earth.
Unease rises. I crouch. Ahead: the depth.
I know the secret—I’ve known all my days!

I backtrack from the anonymous earth,
shut the basement door, return to the hall.
Hors d’oeuvres. The opera. No way to assert
what was, where I went. Must wake to recall
the dark, the door, the secret I forget.

Through that grave, I wonder if there’s a caul
a curtain drawn like nothing before all.



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