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.