The dark floor cast in old shadows crunches with salt
under heavy black boot.
Laces glint of silver. By the corner, rows of rotting teeth.
The door’s hinges left life-
less on the table, dotted with blood from the slaughter.
You are welcome
to come in. Ignore the ropes missing from the ceiling
and the rest that have nothing
left to hold. These windows—broken
open. Everyone can see inside
of the rooster’s wing after the knife runs
through like sailboat keel in water
or another unsent prayer. Through air, crawling
dust. Have I already taken
down the photo’s frame from my fourth
birthday? You can zip up
the leather luggage without looking
inside. On the wall:
rain stains but no more water. I
haven’t been here since
November in these woods
drained of tree sap.
I should leave, I know.
you had to see this.
Rachael Lin Wheeler is currently a student attending Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. Her poetry, fiction, and photography have been recognized by Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is also the founder and editor of Vox Viola Literary Magazine, an intersectional feminist online publication, which can be found at https://voxviola.com.