Pain is a prowler at your back door, scuffing his boots,

     smudging the window, rattling the knob;

a robber stomping on your glassed photographs, scooping your

     grandfather’s pocket watch, your mother’s pearls,

     your antique radio.


It’s a stalker with thumping footfall, and the breath of

     browning mango peels in an alley;

a mugger who claws at your chest, tears away the red petal

     of your lip, who rips off your wallet, your grad ring,

     your fingernail.


Pain is a kidnapper holding your grandchild ransom in a room

     with no windows, no teddy bear, binding her mouth

     on a sweat-soaked, oily rag;

a terrorist slowly pressing the wires in his thick vest,

     waving a knife ready to cut the flower of your throat.


It’s a guerilla ghost that shoves itself into your dreams,

     into your day, bashing you with a rifle butt over

     and over and over.

Published online September 01 2009.

The Open Issue cover image

This piece was published in ‘The Open Issue,’ the Fall 2009 issue of CV2.

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