Word For/ Word: A Journal of new writing

Kate Schapira

Prologue, afterward

Thick air of the house will have wanted to close.
Your chin will have touched your shoulder. There
will have been no one there but you,
the chain. Soft flesh and hair you will
have put off, ripe dreg of a threat
with a foot on the stair.

It will have been night. That's how
you will have known. A whole sight
will have closed, roofless, floorless.
What you will have known of your own
knowledge will have been at your shoulder
thinking of all the air the house

will have wanted. You'll have walked
as if nothing were wrung, as if the chain weren't
hauling you out. To yourself you will have
seemed thin, in suspension, unlike a fresh body.
It will have been day with the sense of a lesson
you would not survive. And yet you will have

stepped down as if there'd been no
one behind you, distributing you out
into time like scattered hair. You will have been
no path. Years ago you were, years from
now your eye will have opened in the night.