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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