“Weapon” by Ruth Crossman

no, he does not have a weapon
downstairs, by phone and screaming
we have called the police!
the sign in the parking lot says QUIET AFTER 10 PM THE NEIGHBORS ARE SLEEPING
but they don’t close til 2
under my window the late-night hatred
spilling out like the beer on his breath
like the garbage cans knocking over
like the way they rage in circles
lost in the haze of their own insanity
until he throws that fire bomb
the word that is worse than all profanities
when shouted in anger by a man with his complexion
I don’t know what compelled him
to launch that word into the air on this street
but the snapback is bloody and in time for a second cop call
he does not have a weapon

Ruth Crossman is an ESL teacher by day and a writer by who is night based out of Oakland. Her work has been featured on 3QuarksDaily and Oaktown Art Blog.


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