For Every Door That Closes
When doors close, they often close for good
like old friends gone silent,
or good books run out of favor and print.
I look for my copies on old dusty shelves
and find them lost or stolen.
Sometimes, closed doors are not lost bonds of faith but estranged lovers or parents -
selfless and selfish at the same time -
and I know in those moments of despair
that I will never truly be lovingly exploited
or expected from again.
Sometimes, they disappear into rabbit holes of the lush green fields
of cricket and sleep.
I walk beyond their inviting boundaries,
watch others take my place among the innocent
for smile is all I can do at this point.
When doors close, they don't always shut with a bang.
Sometimes, they fade into walls of concrete reality.
I hear only the hiss of a thin breeze
as it whips my face,
and the stifling silent stillness of the airlessness afterwards.
The dust settles around me and I sneeze
with my eyes closed,
for it is much better not to lose my diminishing sight
than to look out for the fast disappearing chances at greater lives,
opportunities lost to choices made.
When doors close, they do not always blind us.
Sometimes, they taunt us with visions from the other side
of glass ceilings and revolving doors -
gateways to golden towers and magic shores
beyond secured access points.
I swipe hard with all my paper degrees and sweat,
shout fiercely and loud
but all that anyone can hear
is the incessant electronic beep insisting
that I've got it all wrong.
When doors close, I often let them shut me out
without much of a fight.
Sometimes, I do nothing but stare at them,
commit to memory the shape of their grain,
capture the coarse brown texture of their veneer
for my album of regret.
Lately, though, I've begun to jam my shoulders against some of them,
push hard with all of my remaining strength
to earn last chances.
Ever so rarely, when a door does give an inch,
I slip in without pause for another breath of life.
I swing my bat harder than anytime else,
I run faster than ever,
I sweat pure and true
with every fitful panting breath,
for I have broken shoulders in pursuit of
this one final chance.
I do not let dust settle.
I do not wait for a gust of wind to let me know
that life has passed me by.
I do not rub my nose against tempting glass shelves,
salivate and complain.
I do not capture images for my album anymore.
Instead, now, I fight,
push again with all my strength
every choice still not taken from me.
till the night claims me as its own,
till exhaustion seeps into every pore of my body and mind
and makes me worthy
in penance for all the thoughts I've sacrificed
and in memory of all the poems I've lost
to cyclical depression
to sibling rivalry
to deep-rooted paralyzing guilt
to second-hand ambition
to nightmares of hunger
to ceaseless procrastination
to debilitating normalcy
to dubious satisfaction
to countless unimaginative excuses not to pick up my pen