• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 06

Where are you safe?

where are you safe? is it where you sit
with your back to the wall
the room humming and clinking
at your beck and call
the entrance in view, cut glass in your hand
when danger strolls through the slow yawning door
the sweet on your tongue prickling away

how do you flee? is there a back way?
a car in the alley revving and ready
what if it’s a stranger spinning the wheel
watching you in the rear view
hand in a pocket, locks sliding home
buildings slip by a crushed velvet sky

exit the car, cue the next scene
it’s an empty road, no one in sight
hollow housing on the left
lots on the right
there on the corner under construction
someone might wait
camouflaged by concrete
smooth runs of slate
so many ways to crumble and stun
so many fewer to rear back and run


Where are you safe?

leave that place now, walk into downtown
surrounded by faces, alone in a crowd
heading home or to work
coat zipped, head bowed
maybe there are masses gathering to listen
you join them to revel, to rage, to reason
but then no one might see
if a hand follows fingers
follows pinch follows punch
or even if they notice, they might be afraid
or lazy or late for dinner that’s waiting

go home then at last to mantel and hearth
the cool smell of flowers
the last place they’ll search
because they’re already there
they know how to love you
so they know how to hurt
when to use anger, when to use scorn
indifference in seasons, silence in thorns

maybe the top of the world is it
not the jugular mountain that begins
with woods far below and climbs to the sky
ends with a cliff
because someone could follow
someone could find
someone’s the problem time after time

so find yourself here on an impossible plinth
in the ashes of roses twilight of men and fate
there’s no way to get here
there’s no way to leave
your choices are simply only and safe