Here we meet again
at a place we've never been,
in the doorway of a home
where I have never lived.
I trigger the alarm
as I enter the back door
and I stand waiting for
the security company to call
for confirmation or report.
While the sirens
were going off in my head,
a knocking, though gentle
and quieter, quietly pled
for me to go to the mouth
of the house.
I walk to the door
and I open it up —
in you walk wearing
a black dress hidden up top
by a dark sweater with buttons in front.
It has red accents
that match the color of your hair,
a color I've never seen on you
above green eyes I have, that stare.
Though our gaze locked
I can't believe that you're there —
my eyes are telling me you are
but my mind isn't prepared:
for the first words to come out of your mouth
that you're so glad that I'm here.

Here ...
we are
standing together
after so many years.
You look like you, older,
not old, just more mature;
unexpected but appropriate —
for memories exist to make us aware
of how things could be.
Your billowing lips
thin out, not to rain, but a smile
and we embrace, you holding me
tighter than I hold you for awhile
(until I am sure).
Then I pull you as close as I can
before I lift you into the air.
I set you back down
and swallow a tear.
I have seen and felt you —
proof that you're here
and you speak to me
with words that show that you care,
but by the time I accept
it all as real, you disappear
when I open my eyes, but I blink
and your image is there.
Why come to me
after so many years?
(I ask, but I know these are words
that you'll never hear)
Here ...
just for ten seconds
lasting ten minutes
felt for ten hours
remembered for a year.
If nowhere else
and never again ... here.

© 2014   Erica Hernandez  ,  "Untitled"

© 2014 Erica Hernandez, "Untitled"

//Chris Dankovich is a writer, artist, and teacher and has been incarcerated since he was 15. Chris has previously been published in the past four annual PCAP Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, The Harvard Educational Review's book Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and FENCE Magazine, and he recently won second place in PEN American Center's annual prison writing contest.


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