Painting of a Door

by J.D. Smith

On the fifth floor
of an office building
an elevator door opens
to face a painting
of a door ajar
and a wedge of darkness
that leads to nothing
or anything
save close inspection.
Years after the canvas
has turned to ash and fragments,
like the building that housed it,
a man who once worked there
finds in allegory or fact
a door ajar to a dark wedge.
It seems familiar, and he enters,
the painting’s work complete.


PaintingDoor_Smith_Photo1J.D. Smith’s third collection of poetry, Labor Day at Venice Beach, will be published by Cherry Grove collections in 2012. His previous collections are Settling for Beauty (Cherry Grove Collections, 2005) and The Hypothetical Landscape (Quarterly Review of Literature Poetry Series, 1999). In 2007 he was awarded a Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. His children’s book, The Best Mariachi in the World, appeared in bilingual, Spanish, and English editions in 2008, and his first essay collection, Dowsing and Science, has recently been published with Texas Review Press. His one-act play “Dig,” produced in London by CurvingRoad in 2010, has been adapted for film under the same title and is currently in post-production. Smith works in Washington, DC, where he lives near the Southwest Waterfront with his wife Paula Van Lare and Roo the Rescue Dog. He offers periodic updates on his blog Smitroverse at:

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