House Arrest


i woke up with the

sogginess of the black

trash bag still wet on my

fingers and a heartbeat

leaving obtrusions on

my chest where it tried

to escape my body and

i wish i could tell you

the confirmation of the

dream was enough to

settle it back into its

hallowed socket but the

dampness on my fingers

and the smell of the garage

and the rolling of the body

into plastic bags were too

vivid in the air to dismiss

so i relived the dream in its

entirety in a stasis between

paralysis and fleeing and the

knock on the door of a

stranger whom i knew

by instinct shouldn’t be

there though i couldn’t

remember his face then

and i certainly can’t

describe it now though i

can tell you that he wasn’t

the bearded stranger who

would follow me home

from the school bus and

he wasn’t the babysitter

who scolded us for not

calling when we reached

home because there were

men in the streets hungry

for little boys with blonde

hair and blue eyes just like

us and i can tell you he

felt like the feeling in my

stomach when that other

stranger knocked on my

father’s door but not like

the feeling of how relieved

we were when he walked

away and didn’t come

back because he looked

so much like captain hook

and the stories of pirates

stealing children right out

of their driveways were

rampant even then so we

got lucky us two children

alone in a house and it must

have been that feeling that

compelled me to pull the

trigger of the gun i hadn’t

had in my hand before and

it was that feeling also that

sprung me into action

scooping his limbs his

body into the black trash

bags on the freezing and

dank cement floor of the

garage but not the same

feeling that triggered

instant regret and the

terror of red and blue

lights flashing through

the window it was not

the same feeling that

forced out salty baby tears

at the thought of the

people who had loved and

lost their monster sleeping

now in the trash bags and

not the same feeling that

imprinted the stain of

shame on my soul like a

permanent veil i would

never lift or shake and it

was the veil that was more

terrifying than the act of

the trigger which triggered

the overwhelming certainty

that my young life was now

over but when my eyes

opened in my prepubescent

bed and i should have

rejoiced at the sight of the

white popcorn ceiling i

instead crept cautiously

across the blue living

room carpet and ever

so slowly through the

litter scented laundry

room straight to the

creaky hinged door to

where i’d last wrapped

a limb in plastic and

with one eye open

and the other

squeezed tight i placed

my hand on the knob

and turned it in my

trembling palm

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