With One Eye Closed

Each day I am tormented when I

search the newspaper obituary column

and find you unlisted.

I am afraid to leave my apartment:

you could be everywhere.

I check and double-check the six

locks bolted to my splitting wooden door. Then,

with one eye closed I stealthily

peek through my hole in the fraying

yellow window shade; perhaps

I will spot you among the gutter-litter—

scraping, twisting,

slithering back and forth,

up and down my street like

a rabid snake shedding its festering skin.

from my hole in the shade with

one eye closed, I begin to dissect

feature by feature, the crazy-wino faces

street people and policemen, terrified

I might accidentally catch a glimpse of your

maniacal smile  or your

obsidian-hate eyes.

knowing what it would do to me

should the phone ring now—

I lift the grimy beige receiver from its cracked cradle;

ripping and jabbing at the knotted Curly-Q

cord with  preschooler scissors.

and letting them slide

to the mustard-colored rug stained


Marlboro butts smeared.

Again I peek

through my hole in the shade with one eye closed

and know you’re lurking everywhere.


The Abject Muse/Susan Writes Precise



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