She unlocks herself now,

far from the madding crowd.

It looks like hair let down

or a moth exiting its cocoon

or a great lady thrusting herself through a pair of double doors.

There is a click like a real lock unlocking,

and you can see her pupils spiraling back to their normal size,

and her shoulders drawing back from their crouched position

over her heart.

You can see her heart now.


you can if you look.

Are you looking?

Maybe you shouldn’t.

She has opened anyhow.

She can laugh now and mean it.

She can cry—her tear ducts have torn down their dams.

She can feel now—no longer all mechanic nods and smiles.

But—what horror!—

Don’t you wish she would lock again?