Written by Joni Caggiano


gazing at vivid red bricks

willing myself to evaporate

into the rough white stuff

laying snuggling in between

scarlet spies my secrets seen


torrents of rain battering tin

bolts of lightning are crackling

dogs a hollering so terrified

mama’s orders down she lay

out tonight, the dogs will stay


splitting, my tiny body floods

emotions stab conflicting core

burning my heart into slags

dogs clawing, eyes on the door

I howl upon that cold red floor

quietly I let dogs in; my relief is joy

mama flies in, exposing black eyes,

knocking me back, rolling now

to my belly, my mom gets her meat

I crawl with elbows as she beats


sliding into bed while stiff blows

pounding at my head and then

she stops, straightening covers up

tucks them tender around my face

love you and a kiss she did place

on my forehead, all logic I now erase


Text © Joni Caggiano




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