I’m not sure why I wrote this, but it’s pretty clearly about domestic violence. I suppose I was imagining myself in that moment of waiting for something to happen that didn’t make any sense, and where my mind would go if that happened.
You stood in the door, a minotaur
shoulders heaving and rolling
with your breath
and the blood rasping through your arms
in horrid little pulses
As you raised your arm
I closed my eyes,
ran down the stairs to the storm cellar
and hid there until the wind died down
and the prickles of lightning faded.
I climbed back out and looked around
at the upturned tables
and the splinters.
Next time I closed my eyes a little earlier,
Ran down the stairs again,
Hid a little longer, wound my arms around my knees
A little tighter,
The next time tighter,
The next time tighter
Like a square clutching a circle.
After a season of storms,
I ran down the stairs,
And waited for the thunder to roll past.
But then I thought:
‘Why crawl out to flee back down?’
So I curled up behind the tar barrels
And slept the sleep of the children.