Don’t

Standard

Square shoulders square jaw square eyes straight ahead
side-step sidewalk cracks
so as not to break anybody’s back

keep walking keep walking fast walking no talking
to strangers
eyes on street eyes on streetlights
skirt shadows
eyes on shadows
eyes on feet.

We have traffic lights and stop signs and speeding tickets to keep people safe from cars.
We have fear to keep daughters safe from night.

I’m not a logical thinker, but I know that
the stories we speak become the truth, become the rules
and I’m afraid that if we accept that we can’t walk alone,
we will forget to feel outraged that the streets are not safe.

The best way to be safe should not be to stay inside.

I would like to
make the buses run all night
light
bike paths, plant potholes
with pumpkin seeds, fill dark
corners with fireflies
so we can go night-walking
and wonder at the stars.

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