You should be scared, he says by Stephanie Campisi

– You should be scared, he says
you should carry a weapon
or only things that can
become a weapon
at a moment’s notice –
your keys should not
just be keys
your jewellery not
just ornament –
you should be scared
and everything on your person
should remind you
of that fear –
the world is dark
and it will be darker still
with the weight of its
carried on your hip
in the bag that is
not a bag
but a vault –
this violence that was
this violence that is
this violence
that will be –
you are at its centre –
what he does not say is
– You should be scared
because if you are not
then the violence turns
elsewhere –
because if it does
then he cannot say
that there is nothing to be scared of;
that he has never felt unsafe.

I’m a Portland-based poet and author whose work has been published in magazines and anthologies worldwide. I’ve been shortlisted for the Ditmar, Aurealis and Axel Clarke awards; my website Read in a Single Sitting won the “words” division of the Best Australian Blogs Competition 2013. I write silly things at and tweet at @readinasitting.
These poems have appeared on my Poet Deploriate tumblr.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s