Bob Bradshaw

Phobia.  Traveling Beyond The Front Door

The door might as well be
a border crossing guarded
by armed men.  A vault door
to a bank's deposits.
Yesterday I got as close
as six feet to it.  Bees
of sweat started to crawl
along my chest.  Breathing
was difficult.  I turned
feverish, as combustible
as dried flowers.  I
retreated.  Today I intend
to make it to the door,
to touch

Outside there are knives
in pockets, and grudges
concealed behind stoic
faces.  Drive by shooters
are idling their engines,
waiting for someone to leave
by their front door.
Still I'm determined.

Half way to the door
the floor tilts.  My heart
cramps.  It's as if a boot
is digging its heel
into my chest.  I crawl
back across the room.
The front door is miles
away.  I breathe easier.
My lungs inflate again.
What was I thinking?
Was there something wrong
with staying

Bob Bradshaw is a programmer living in Redwood City, CA.  Previous work of his has appeared at Stirring, Slow Trains, Paumanok Review, Lily and Poetry Niederngasse, among other publications.


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