"Walking Through" by Big Bruiser Dope Boy

we were staying at your friend’s place

a small apartment up two long stairways

while he was gone


we had a flight that evening

we had recently come back from walking around

you asked me if I wanted to smoke


I said yes

you told me to make sure the door wasn’t locked

or to not shut the door behind me if it was


you walked out the door, down the hall

and out another door to the fire escape

I followed you, shutting the door behind me


I joined you on the highest platform of the fire escape

from where we could look down into the gutters

you said you didn’t lock the door, did you?


I went to the door and wasn’t able to turn the locked knob

I looked back at you 

you thought I was joking 


or were hoping I was

but could tell I wasn’t

I put my hands in my hair, cursed and apologized


I said I thought it wasn’t locked

I locked the knob out of habit when I came in and forgot

what are we going to do?


we left our wallets inside, your phone inside

my phone was in my pocket, but it was about to die

you tried to finesse the door open


said fuck it and kicked the door

the sound of wood splitting

we got in


now the door was broken

the area around the latch was cracked, splintered, bulging 

the dead bolt was fine


I unscrewed the strike plate from the side of the door

different pieces leapt out

and tinkled onto the floor


we looked up videos to figure out how to repair it

then gave up after about an hour and a half

of trying to hold the unfamiliar metal pieces and springs in place


while shoving them in the hole

we had to be at the airport in a few hours

I called a locksmith


he showed up and told us the latch was shot

bent from kicking in the door

repair wasn’t possible, only replacement


he left to get a new latch

while you left to get us lunch

while I stayed and waited for the locksmith


you got back and we ate on the front steps

the locksmith came back

installed a new latch in the brittle, damaged hole


we left, bought glue, came back

I squeezed the door as it dried

we had sex in the bathroom


shared a cigarette looking

across the balmy city, tops of other houses

the sky turning soft around bridge lights


we made the airport without issue

had what we told ourselves were our last cigarettes

outside the terminal next to flight attendants


we fixed the door, or got it fixed together

your friend won’t find out

until––unless––you tell him (you should)


when you said it felt like we were doomed from the start

I thought that was cheap

what doesn’t look doomed, walking through its ruins?


I got a message from the future today

it told me not to bother

but I wasn’t here to hear it