Emergency Exits

by
Eliza Victoria

The status message cautions us to be kind to everyone, we don’t know the battle each of us is fighting. There is a man in the van with red-rimmed eyes and a strange smirk, but he has a photo of his family in his wallet. It means nothing. The news report cautions us that we don’t know what everyone else is hiding. Hug your bag tighter, be ready when the shooting begins. The dead body cautions us not to trust the hand that leads us to sanctuary. There is a knife in the empty shed. In the bus, three men wearing sunglasses glance at each other. We feel the prickling beneath our skin. It means nothing, or the end of days. The priest cautions us to slow down and take in the morning. Behind the glass wall, a child is dancing. The bamboo organ booms a hosanna. The politician smiles from the illegal tarpaulin. The sky aches above the flowers. The status message cautions us to stop and be thankful – we don’t know what we are missing.

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