A window pane shattering at 4am sounds like your rum-drunk roommate coming home, even though you don’t have a roommate. Even as your body is sucked from your bed; runs toward the clatter while your mind spins up up up to observe a stranger standing among silver shivers of glass on your living room carpet. Even as you stare at the baseball bat raised to this strange man’s shoulder. Stare at the silence of his ski mask. And his eyes; green eyes gazing at you with the intimate buzz of a dark queen hive. His eyes holding you in place even as your body liquids away. As you calculate how, with one swing, the bones in your skull would scatter, your brain would crimson, your blood vessels stain. You don’t yet know you will survive this moment not a week, not a month, but a year from now, roaming blue bars on Queen East, bars in other cities, bars in the streets of forgotten continents, searching for pieces of love dropped to the ground. How you will gather the cuts and bruises of others like bitten stigmata. Sew them into your very own skin-shaped armour. You don’t know you will survive this moment by climbing into a different man’s bed again and again, hoping to wake as a different woman.
Lisa Alletson’s stories and poems are published in New Ohio Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Crab Creek Review, Gone Lawn, Milk Candy Review, Typehouse Magazine, among others. Her first chapbook, “Good Mother Lizard” won the Headlight Review 2022 poetry contest. She’s on Twitter @LotusTongue. You can read more of her work at www.lisaalletson.com.