by Topaz Winters
it’s just that there are men at my door & you
put them there. In the kitchen I am
cooking dinner like my mother taught me
so that when the men finally break down
the door we can all sit down for a nice
hot meal together before they take
me away. I’m sure the neighbours
imagine all the pounding is just construction
on the building down the block—
how easily fear song passes for the rhythm
of creation. The men don’t think of themselves
as soldiers the same way I don’t think
of the open flame on my stove as
a coping mechanism. If you could cook
your own last supper, would you?
Meaning: the opposite of escape
is hospitality, & if this is all a dream
I hope I didn’t leave the stove on when I ran.
If it’s real, at least the newspapers will know
I was dragged off like a lady. I’ve paid
full price for whatever love I thought
wouldn’t hear the pounding & look away.
There are men at my door.
I’m out of salt for their meal. The hinges
on the doorframe are starting to yield.
& you want my forgiveness.