Kim H. Cardoso

I’m in the elevator, button glowing, going down, falling
past words wedged in the floorboards, a receipt
for nails, an empty sugar packet. I’m reaching
into my purse, looking for chewing gum, looking

for the knife I will stab into the man in the poly-blend
jacket, cinched waist. Looking for the gum
to freshen my breath, looking for the gun
that will spray bullets in the vaulted, gilded

lobby, slay the unsuspecting.
I’m on my way to the bus, but I see this one
first. I’m getting on, riding anywhere, past
stops and streets I’ve never seen.

I’m looking in my purse for some ones. I’m digging
as the woman at the window smirks
at the bruised pear dropping from my touch.
I’m looking in my purse for my pistol. Her face

will go still, eyes exophthalmic with surprise,
and I’ll get my ticket for free.
I’m at the platform. I’m sitting
on the bench full of stains, stories, scratches. I’m sitting

in the middle, and I’m thrusting my hands out, forcing
the others to fall, making
more room for me.
I’m getting on the bus, watching

the empty bench sulk away through the plexiglass,
and I’m falling,
thumb and finger pinched over my nose,
other arm wild at my side.


Kim H. Cardoso is a midwife and ex-jeweler who writes infrequently at callmezari.blogspot.com. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and wiggly-toed born-at-home daughter. Her poetry has appeared in Potomac Review.


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