“Do you feel safe?”
this is the most frequent question people ask
when they see my apartment
and the surrounding neighborhood.
The same question pops up each time
friends help me lug boxes and
move me to a new place.
Shrug it off, smile, make a joke
about cheap rent and my guard cats.
The internal dialogue starts:
why don’t I feel unsafe with sirens and
drug houses and fights breaking out under my window?
Why don’t packs of loose dogs
and junked out cars
and oddly constructed fences make me cautious?
Maybe it’s because for me
the danger always came from inside the house.