enter

The cold permeates
chilling my bones to their depth.
It has been so long since I’ve felt warmth,
or the feeling of my limbs.
They are phantoms now,
leftovers of another life,
when I felt control and pain.
I stumble along,
unable to feel the bruises
I’ve accumulated along the way.
I bump against a door,
not realizing I’ve crashed it wide,
blown it open so the light shines,
illuminating the darkness behind me,
allowing the chill into their sanctuary.
The man inside, seeing my condition,
beckons me.
I feel the first stirrings of warmth
kiss my skin.
It tingles at first, the sharp pains of frostbite giving way
to the tender heat.
Come in, he says.
But I shake my head,
unwilling to enter,
and finally feel the full weight of the pain
I’ve carried for too long.

This was the first for the Poetic Asides November Poem-a-day Chapbook Challenge. Prompt: Enter.

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