She came through my door full of history,
her cheeks polished silk smooth
by the soft erosion
of bitterly fallen teardrops
and her hands wrinkled
like the crumpled and torn first pages
of unfinished novels –
written, erased, crumpled, and tossed
in the wastebasket.
Her shoes etched
thousand mile indents,
marking my entryway with
traces of old alleyway shortcuts
and once familiar roads.
Each pace down my darkened hallway
recited episodes of the solemn journey
that first led her to the promise of warmth
behind my door.
In the dim light of the doorway,
the colorful stories etched into her skin
flickered in and out of focus.
I had to trace the outlines with my fingertips,
so that no detail would slip through the cracks.
She had chronicled all her stories in her skin,
so I tried to grasp every detail,
but so many times
I didn’t know where to begin.