There is an old door in my new house.
A six-panel door made of solid wood
covered by layers and layers
and years and years of paint. Some acrylic, some oil-based,
some lead. It is distressed, and in need
of restoration. I know
of a place. I could drop off
the door. They will dip it in a solution
and return it to me.
As good as new.
But I have decided to unhinge it,
turn it on its side,
and begin the painstaking process
of stripping the layers by hand.
I am pouring the thinner onto small sections and scraping
ever so gently with a spackle knife
for hours on end.
Under the cracked and crinkled antique white
I have encountered hunter green,
royal blue, muted pink, yellow.
I have not made it through to the last layer. My head
grows dizzy from the fumes and my wrist
I set it aside for another day.
I want to return it to its original state.
Uncovered, untouched, unspoiled.