It is January.
The cold air bites my face,
not a full, open-jawed bite;
tiny bites, like a fish nipping my legs while I swim,
small, sharp stings on my cheeks
Walk. A walk will lift your spirits.
The Christmas decorations have been taken down.
The trees have been discarded, thrown to the ground
at the edge of driveways, waiting to be picked up
by men who will throw them
into trucks and deliver them
someplace to be chopped into dust.
It is gray.
There is no snow.
Just a gray sky
and a dry earth
lifting their arms, begging,
beseeching, reaching their skeletal fingers
Move along. There is nothing for you to see here. Only houses.
There are only houses
and naked trees.
one atop another
on small, ever so small, square, parcels of land.
How do people breathe? I wonder.
I cannot breathe.
Walking is supposed to help.
I watched my mother go mad.
When I was a little girl, my mother once said, “I want a house just like that.”
I knew it was death.
A death house.
I live in such a house. I bought it myself.
I realize death is a square.
where you place yourself
and bury yourself alive.
Some people do not realize they are dying.
I am choking,
choking up the last bits of my womanhood.
Some people live in those boxes.
They are monsters.
They make noise and rattle the walls
and wake their neighbors.
They do not care.
It makes them feel strong.
I used to bring my dog with me, but she can no longer walk here.
She has been bitten too many times,
bitten by violent dogs,
kicked and broken by violent men.
I see those men, walking out of their square houses,
getting into their trucks-giant trucks
that make up for their small
It is quiet.
I don’t want to die here.
I see a black cat sitting atop a stone wall.
It is watching me.
I walk past.
Poor dear. I do not wish to bring her bad luck.