“Never talk to strangers, no matter what they offer you,”
mumbled my dad,
who himself was a stranger to me.
I wouldn’t have been able to identify him in a chalk outline,
yet he drew one around me while I was still fresh. Still breathing.
He told me that,
should I ever be held hostage,
to “scream at the top of my lungs.”
I’m still breathing to tell you that there’s a kind of curse in that —
the preparation to be someone’s property, to be properly disposed of
before the rotting settles in.
We never really know anyone.
We are all just stories we like to tell each other --
over breakfast or soured milk cartons with our faces hollowed out.
I scoff at the thought of being lured into a trap,
of being both hook and bait,
and insist that I don’t want to taste the candy,
I just want to sit with the sweetness,
feel sweet sometimes.
I want the offering,
where they give and I take,
but then they’re taking and I’m giving,
and how many strangers
does it take
to spoil the ending?
I am looking to get lost.
I am lost in the looking.
Alicia Turner holds an MA in English and is a grant writer, poet, & storyteller. She can be found writing confessional, conversational poetry in an over-priced apartment somewhere in WV. Her work is featured or forthcoming in Four Lines (4lines), CTD's ‘Pen-2-Paper’ project, Voicemail Poems, FreezeRay Poetry, Drunk Monkeys, Luna Luna, Defunkt Magazine, Sybil Journal, The Daily Drunk, ExPat Press, Rejection Letters Press, Screen Door Review, J Journal Literary Magazine, Sledgehammer Lit, Taint Taint Taint Magazine, Cartridge Lit., Space City Underground, among others.
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