"Why I Get Quiet When the Cops Come" by Shelley Whitaker
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
The slights feel small as spiders when spoken. Her fists against the door turn soft as strands of silk & no matter the glass she burst my window open with, for I’ve swept
each sharpness away. Even the fingers she slips inside me while I sleep dissolve into dream when caught— unwrap from my neck & leave no limb-shaped pinknesses.
Next time you glimpse a thumb-sized waltz of legs, grab a broom & scream. Watch how quickly an arachnid skitters out of vision, shrinks herself into the numb nest of memory.
– originally published by The Academy of American Poets at poets.org