“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.


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