He comes up to the second floor,
all whispers and muttering.
He’s sick, we all now that.
But he’s suddenly noticed me
even though I have been here for years.
He wants to know about Sexual Deviance.
He has skin mags in his pockets.
He shows me the photos.
“Is it pornography or art?”
he asks himself. I don’t answer.
I tell him to put that away.
I find the article he wants and print it out.
I stand there tight lipped and tell him,
it was time to go downstairs. The kids will be here soon.
He obliges, steps back like I might hurt him.
Then he goes to grab my arm,
he wants to know if the bracelet is for prayer
and what the tattoo means. He is muttering to himself,
telling himself, that it’s okay that he doesn’t know.
He wants to know how he can find out.
He says he should know. But how? He keeps repeating this.
I point at the elevator.
He goes downstairs.
They tell me I’m good with him.
Cause he’s like a child.
And I’m good with children.
When am I going to have children? they ask.
I sit there, noticing my hands shaking
and think to myself,
if one more person asks me that,
I’m going to throw up.
Ally Malinenko has been published widely in the underground scene. She is also a contributing poet to Reading Ground Blogazine hosted by Breedingground.com. Her first book of poems, entitled The Wanting Bone, was recently published by Six Gallery Press.