by Arisha Ali, she/her

Someone is behind me, 

He is behind me, 

Too close for comfort, 

Yet too far, 

For now, 

For me to take my paranoia seriously. 

Tight fists, 

A quick pace, 

Better to be safe than sorry. 

Back squared,

Silent prayer,

Please don’t let him catch up to me, 

Jaw clenched, 

Swift steps, 

Please don’t let him say anything to me, 

Almost home, 

Almost safe, 

Hands tight around my sharpest, silver key, 

Sudden relief. 

Fists loosen, 

He has crossed the street, onto the other side. 

Deep exhale, 

Almost home, 

And already free from impending doom.