Leslie, Don't Look

by Curtis Silver

Leslie looked, don't look she'll see you staring she'll see you caring. Don't look, ask again and it's best you must ignore her glare or her stare going through you. Did you see her coming down? Leslie look, don't be alone; to be so afraid, pretend she's not staring at you anymore. So watch her every night as you calmly roll over to say goodbye and the television screams your name and “kill kill kill kill kill” and you think about doing something your mother told you never told you never look at her now. Don't look Leslie, look, pretend she isn't there. Just crowd into your chair and sit so still. The sun burns a hole on your back so burn Leslie, burn and try to pay attention as you constantly want to nod away. And the words your parents gave you hidden as good advice ring hard in your head like you just walked into a room with padded walls and the padding has dried and gone away. Don't look Leslie, don't look. It's something you don't really want to see. And you notice from a distance she's wearing the earrings you gave her last year. But you drive down the street and see a corner store. Do they know they are being robbed? And does the bank teller care if you wear your brand new shoes on your feet on every second Monday of the year, and just last month you ran away from home. So don't look Leslie, don't look Leslie, don't look Leslie, don't look. Because now you see the pain that has conflicted on the dry spell of kindness in the place you call home. When your pet becomes a meal for your neighbor on Memorial Day the salute to our dead just seems wasted. And when you run out of fuel on the highway in Nevada fifty feet from a scavenger staring you down, you can't watch your own children be born but you can watch somebody else's die and there is nothing you can do about it. Oh, you want to do so much. So don't look Leslie, don't look. Turn your face away from the blood. Your happy place could be too far away for you to run this time, and when hours later you are still trying to pay attention in class, why won't they just shut the fuck up and let us go back to sleep where we can truly be free. So back into its eyes as you fix a problem caused by your own ignorance. You fool. You can't win. You should have never stopped ignoring all the problems but you did and now their problems are your problems. Can you solve them? Do you care? Perhaps you'll get lucky and they'll forget about you if you sit back and stay silent. But it's against human nature to just forget it all. They can tell you to. They can make you, but it doesn't feel right, does it? It doesn't feel like you deserve that kind of torture. What torture? It doesn't exist but you couldn't look away could you? You couldn't just walk away and pretend everything is peachy keen. But you can't. It's not in your nature. I told you not to look. I told you to walk away. What did you think you would accomplish?