I sit down to write B situate myself,
coffee cup in hand. . .
She makes her way
down a dank corridor
skin saturated by humidity. 
Stairs just visible
by mounted candlelight:
spiraling further
into shadows,
regions known,
probed each day.
Like a mystic explorer,
she takes inventory:
moss grows in cracks,
drafts of cold dusty air seep through
tiny pin-holes of decay
between plaster and stone.
She slides down,
as a woman on her knees before a lover,
fluid in descent.
Her blackberry lips let slip between them air
laced with cream, sandalwood:
smells like cashmere,
secret whisper spoken in the ear
of men she=s curled around,
to whom she=s given all or nothing.
She goes down to that place
at the bottom of the stairs
where there are doorways leading to forbidden fruitB
exposes them one by one for pleasure and amusement.
There is joy in pricking her skin,
scratching herself alive,
drinking wine to wear down reserve,
let her inner child out of the dungeon
that child who loves to play
with bugs, pulling off the legs until what was
is something new. 
Down there,
behind one of those doors
is what she is looking for:

                       an ultimate thing B a release,
                       a place to bleed her sorrow on the floor,
                       herself, a naked body,
                       candlelight to
                       help make reality more docile –
                       her body beautiful B the moment surreal: 
                       an art to satisfy perception. 
                       Behind one of those doors must be redemption. 
                       Farther down, there must be an end to the searching.
                       Farther down. 
I keep writing, sipping nervously
on my coffee, now cold and bitter. 
Keep writing through the cramping fingers,
through the stomach growl. 
She=s there somewhere. 
Follow her across the page,
deeper into hidden places, darkness. 
She takes the knob in her hand and twists. 
Could this be it? 
My muscles tighten, anxious to see
where she=ll lead me next,
into my private inside,
the recesses of my busy brain. 
She will open the doors that I cannot.
She will set me free. 

She pulls.

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