Alexis White

You Asked to Come In

It was as if I had found you on my threshold, bathed in yellow porch light, a halo of gnats around your head, and I could say yes or no. For the first time I realized the body was a house I hadn’t lived in for years, a house that’d been broken into long ago, the crushed glass on the sill, the unidentifiable stain on the carpet, the faint but lingering scent of strangers—and worse of all, the fear of finding the intruders still there. Yet here was the house, and there you were, standing on my front porch, asking to come in. At the same time you were standing on my front porch, you were hovering above me, propped up on strong but trembling arms. Sweat was beginning to percolate along your wonderfully crooked nose, and everything broken about you was beautiful. You were asking in a soft but urgent voice, “Can I?” Your eyes were two houses of their own—very dark and open—hoping, not knowing, asking, just asking.


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