Key, A Poem

I once had a key
to a door with layers of white paint
covering the old
walls and hardwood floors
windows that overlooked windows
with Buddha paintings staring at me
and a hard Ikea bed
next to cheap night-lights
with bulbs that burned
on tiny glass tables
which held my water
and hairbands
so I wouldn’t strangle myself
while I slept
until I woke to snoring
beside me
to neighbors talking
and me in the little bathroom
which housed Rogaine for men
and hair dryers
that were left on
so as to warm the room
and dry dried hair
that used to be thick and wavy
that would fall out anyway
because beauty
doesn’t care about hair
or words
that injure
compliments on my body
but never my mind
giggles that would fill the air
while falling on the hard Ikea bed
bought on sale
along with cheap bookshelves
filled with books
most of which never to be read
while pictures in frames
would watch from shelves
which smelled like the old books
and morning breath smells
soup smells
rotting vegetable smells
cologne smells
sex smells
hallway smells
computer smells
of lies
of photographs
and profiles promising more love
more sex
better lives
with copies of keys
being passed around
in the night
at the office
at the coffee shop
while my key slid
under the door
with layers of white paint
covering the old

Jennifer Allison