Constant awakenings when I read
the papers — bottles crossing the room
& slicing fingertips, unconscious bodies
knotted beneath sheets, frogs tossed
into pots to bob in boiling water. How long
will I live like this & live like this & die
like this. I will never flinch in the shadow
of a raised hand, but raised voices
in the street will always crash through me
like a tree dressed in telephone wire.
I won’t tell anything but shaking hands
and held breath when men on television
swing their arms like antlers crashing
through a windshield. A sickness knows
a glass is a weapon, a doorframe is a haven,
letting the fist fall is a solution. I already know
the story if they chalk my silhouette
across the floorboards of my father’s house.
They’d say they never knew. They never saw
the signs. They never, ever, could’ve guessed it.
Lake Vargas primarily writes poetry and creative non-fiction. Her work has been published by Periwinkle Literary Magazine, Tealight Press, Butcher Papers, and others. She is a poetry reader at Paracosm Literary Journal, and she tweets at @lakewrites. More of her work can be found on her Tumblr, @stonemattress.