Stephanie McCarley Dugger

Issue #
February 28, 2015

After the Shooting

You insist we aren’t blessed

         until we lie awake

         full of silence that presses our bodies

         until we beg for hunger,

         a thunderstorm, war.


                                                      Tonight, while you sleep,

I listen for pre-dawn birds to awaken.

                                                      The slam

                     of a car door takes the shape

                     of someone’s fist

                     thudding against the side of the house.

                                 A broken window will follow

and we will fall to defending ourselves—



and intruder.

                         In my daydreams,

                         I do not beg for mercy.

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