Mar/Apr 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 2 PoetryFebruary 28, 2020 |

Instructions for the Hostage

You must accept the door is never shut. You’re always free to leave at any time, though the hostage will remain, no matter what. The damage could be managed, so you thought, essential to the theory of your crime: you must accept the door is never shut. Soon, you’ll need to choose which parts to cut for proof of life, then settle on your spine —  though the hostage will remain, no matter what. Buried with a straw, it’s the weak that start considering their price. You’re no great sum. You must accept the door is never shut, and make a half-life there, aware, apart, afraid your captor has misplaced you, so far down, though the hostage you’ll remain, no matter what. Blink once for yes, and twice for yes — the heart has a signal for the willing, its purity sublime. You must accept the door was never shut, though the hostage will remain, no matter what.

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