by Patrick Wilcox Ask a lesser thief and they would say to use two bent-up bobby pins. My therapist says tell me more. A lesser thief would say to turn and jab, twist and juke. Thieves can’t pry our way into paradise. My therapist says you need a psychiatrist. A padlock needs a can of Coke. Cut the can into m-shaped strips. Tourniquet the strips half-moon around the shackle. My psychiatrist says take this pill. Imagine the shackle is the last person you were in love with and the strip a grittier version of you who learned years ago love-logic only exists between lock pin and lock key. My pill says if you are latched long enough you will suffocate. Feel the release of shackle heel breaking grip, shackle toe out of place, air into lung. My deadlatch says don’t leave me. Please, don’t leave me. Remember, keep the padlock in a back pocket. Remember, its heft is your last good anchor. Only then do you stand a chance of waking in a familiar room, in a bed that’s more like a home. My home says you should leave me. Pick the lock loose and latch it back, curious to whose heart we both are breaking in.
Patrick Wilcox studied English and Creative writing at the University of Central Missouri where he also was an Assistant Editor for Pleiades. His chapbook Acta is forthcoming from Cathexis Northwest Press. His work has appeared in Maudlin House, MacGuffin, and West Trade Review, among others.