—for the poet who dropped out of college so she wouldn’t have to see her rapist walking around on campus

We seek it—we look for it
as if it’s an exotic locale
to be visited, or have a postcard sent from—
We ask for it
as if it’s something to be beseeched
or just a book we’d like returned
& not a cathedral gate carved with demons
grinding safely shut behind us,
or a wound our body seals & makes vanish—
(why can’t anyone understand the terror
of a parenthesis left wide open
where anyone might intrude &