Volume Five, Issue 3

The Fear Within the Safe House

Jayanthi Rangan

Escape silently I was told on Jan. 6th, 2021
Before I was whisked to a protected room
I could smell the fiery hot terror
The thumps and clangs felt like a heartbeat
The rampage of the mob hardly a hair away

The bravest body next to me was shaking
Like a furiously working drill
the rioters knew our whereabouts
a map of the Capitol with them
tours were given just days before
the name plates on doors a beacon
And the assassins were a trained lot

Sure the building had tunnels and hidden rooms
the scant security officers on our side
but even if we had 30 chambers of ammonites
and we could curl into the smallest stronghold
with stocked air and fluid
to keep us alive
Could we remain unharmed

Safety is nothing but a delicate septum
an illusion of the mind
between the hunted and the killer
A cephalopod could float away his palace
Or submerge it anywhere in the ocean
but this house is cemented and set
and no mantle and no arms could block
the insurrectionists
no siphuncle-passage could erase the field scares

Jayanthi Rangan: “My short stories are published in Twisted Vine Literary Publication, Corner Club Press and Bookend Review. I am involved with teaching varied groups, creating dishes and being a town meeting member.”

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