In half my dreams I see a door
sacred to no two faced God Janus,
to a three faced unnamed god:
one face for out,
one face for in,
one face looking back to the world
that would have been
had I never seen this door.
That’s the face that’s always
I always wake up angrier than I was
when I went to sleep.
In the last dream of the night,
I am being beaten by a masked man.
How is it to be beaten,
he says? I lie:
it is neither bad nor good, it has
Let me spice it then for you
with more blows, different blows,
he says, slamming my hand
in the door as I try to push through.
Always aching when I wake,
always wishing I could
just go through the door into the day
happy, light and smiling.
It’s not likely to happen.
I live in this wrong world
of in or out, this or that.
I hate walking through that door.
Some days, I try not to
and those days my hands look like meat
from taking the beating
as I try to stand in between
the rooms — clawed into the jams,
terrified of the unnamed benevolents
doing the banging.
Choose, friend, they say.
Crawl through or hang back,
but the door is here
and you have to choose
now that you know it’s here.
What of the promise of the third face,
I ask. No one ever gets to look that god
in those eyes, they say. They die