anyway I missed it staying later than
anticipated the dancing still continuing.
It's night now but there the crowds were
more and here they're sparse; I hear that
crash of glass behind me which makes me
start but when I look (not behind me) it's
at the arched corridor next to me. I'm a
city girl you know: I grew up being told
to keep my pace, my eyes straight, and if
I see a crime to wait until it's safe to call
9-1-1 or take the risk of being shot.
I must be thinking this since, here, at this
four-street intersection I see what I perceive
to be a gun in some guy's hand. As I'm coming
up the street they're crossing straight. Counting
four men in their group I turn along the curve,
waiting for the sound of being hit which doesn't
come; my stomach's tight but I keep on walking.
I ignore the man who makes a snide remark
about me being on my own, and another group
of men who talk so loud I fear they'll follow me
and then, when I get to the gate I forget I have
the key and climb instead, desperate is my
need to be inside where I can close the door.
Vanessa Raney is an American living in Croatia, and working on a book. Her creative works (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.) have previously appeared in mostly online publications, more recently in *Foliate Oak Literary Magazine*, *Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag*, and *Every Day, A Century*. A complete list can be found at http://vanessa-raney.blogspot.com.