Pain is a prowler at your back door, scuffing his boots,
smudging the window, rattling the knob;
a robber stomping on your glassed photographs, scooping your
grandfather’s pocket watch, your mother’s pearls,
your antique radio.
It’s a stalker with thumping footfall, and the breath of
browning mango peels in an alley;
a mugger who claws at your chest, tears away the red petal
of your lip, who rips off your wallet, your grad ring,
Pain is a kidnapper holding your grandchild ransom in a room
with no windows, no teddy bear, binding her mouth
on a sweat-soaked, oily rag;
a terrorist slowly pressing the wires in his thick vest,
waving a knife ready to cut the flower of your throat.
It’s a guerilla ghost that shoves itself into your dreams,
into your day, bashing you with a rifle butt over
and over and over.