death stands in front of me close enough to touch
stands behind me hissing
I leave the mini mart with a gallon of milk
death calls after me Hey fat girl
what are you afraid of?
I tell him I’ve stuff to do

he shows up in front of my apartment
cleaning his gun on the stoop
not wanting him upstairs
I walk with him by the river find a cafe
have a coffee a brandy

we don’t like the same movies
I head home

next time we meet
he tells me he almost never lynches women anymore
I tell him to come back when there’re no honor killings
female circumcision human trafficking

his laughter is a dry cough

Bonnie wrote until she was in her late thirties. She is published in several journals includ-ing POETRY, Entropy, Dunes Review, Gyroscopic Review, Ravens Perch and RHINO. She started writing again after retirement.