Hypnophobia #13



I thought the door was locked.

Still I am here, back pressed

against white-painted aluminum.

On the other side, a man I do not know.

The red sneaker he has wedged into my door

is muddy. He says he lives here, says

he left his phone inside.


My back muscles erupt in spasms, bare feet

slide across the linoleum. His leg, his hip,

his shoulder breaks the threshold and enters

my apartment. I abandon the door. He stands

in the living room beside a shelf of trinkets,

vacation photos, books, glass jars

of shells, evidence of my life.

Ellie White holds an MFA from Old Dominion University. She writes poetry and nonfiction. She has won an Academy of American Poets Poetry Prize, and has been nominated for both Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Fat, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Arcturus and many other journals. Ellie’s chapbook, Requiem for a Doll, was released by ELJ Publications in June 2015. Her first full-length collection is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2019. She is a nonfiction and poetry editor at Four Ties Literary Review, and a social media editor and reader for Muzzle Magazine. Ellie currently rents a basement in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.