a house
six outside doors
seventeen inside doors
twenty-three keyholes

so many doors to lock
so many doors to kick
and slam open or shut
only one of them was permitted to do that
only she
not he
and not the child

so many keyholes
so many near-identical keys
and the child didn’t know which was which
only she
and sometimes he

doors leading to wailing and gnashing of teeth
heady impotence echoing through the keyholes
cursing of feet against a rickety hollow core door
nights full of pent up sounds from doors
but no keys

so many doors
still he had to climb through the basement window
the same window every time
under the stairs where nobody could see him
after all it was a disgrace

and the child was left behind


From the poetry collection Eru koparrør himmiríki.
Translation: Matthew Landrum & Sámal Soll, published in the international journal of literature and the arts Anomaly #25 (US).

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