when my boyfriend tells me about the red suitcase

Issue 3 | Summer 2019 |



i don’t want to believe him; not just because it’s an   “affluent
             neighborhood, as described by CNN,
             but because the copse of trees near my house is
already so terrifying. i want you            to understand, he says, i
             just worry. i know you hold your keys between
             your knuckles when you walk but please, promise
me you won’t go out alone.                 last seen between a juniper
             and a train station. breathing, at least. her wrists,
             ankles, red and raw and rope burn, matching the
suitcase off the side of the road they found her in.      and she
             was not me, but easily could have been, the space
             between us so slim and fragile it could break
on command. he tells me to be careful, but god, i am so tired.


for Valerie Reyes