Until They Get to Know You
by LYDIA ARMSTRONG
They fall in love
until they get to know you,
then it’s black cats, battle axes, iron spikes,
unraveling balls of frayed yarn, white ice eyes,
stone, rock, gravel, concrete, sandpaper,
limestone, walls, forts, buttresses, crocodile teeth,
dry land, swamp water, broken gates, overgrown paths
through the woods leading nowhere,
rotten timber, empty bellies, grease, streaked windows,
Halloween, not the good kind, Valium, slow heart rates,
spinning sick, fangs, molars, incisors, jaws, gums,
blood in the sink,
and then they see you.
LYDIA ARMSTRONG lives in Richmond, Virginia with her cat, where she collects bugs, drinks copious amounts of mint tea, and is working on a novel.