The man holds the door open
for me. Takes me out, buys me dinner.
The man folds all our laundry. Ivory and
pinks folded neatly into cupboards, black
and blues: together. The man is good.
I swear this man is good.
The man leaves my sister behind. Ignores my
brother’s name. The man’s face, a body
of gentle misdeeds. The man handcuffs
my friends. Bans my cousin from a hospital
bed and a routine visit. The man does not give my father
his green card. Shoves my aunt into a shoebox.
Denies her a crooked education. The man writes this
education, a history of whiteout corpses. Writes out
all the job apps. All the money made. The dollar bill. Tells us
that we should’ve “tried harder.” The man sells me
lies, hiding themselves—a lingering ghost behind
my shoulders. The man rapes my mother.
He kills my children and sees our bodies as pastime.
Does not sit hidden or shy or looming
as he did before. No, his body heaves against
all the things I love the most, revelling
in all the mayhem. And this is personal.
All of this is so personal. But it never started
here. It never begins here really.
It began with a door and someone else
giving me permission
to walk through.
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