In Which Our Hero Becomes a Masked Vigilante

Stephanie Cawley


I have a new philosophy. To take everything
like a man-of-war. I stick a gun
in my bag and with it a cowboy, a mafioso,
a skinny kid from South Philly I saw cram fists
full of knock-off sunglasses in his pockets.
I have been biting bullets for years
but now I want to spit them out. To shoot.
To study the cadences of backtalk,
of whiplash. Black boots that stomp
and click. The choked crack of a whip.
If all the old thinking is about loss,
all the new is about taking back
what is already ours. The fat bankers
on their balconies. A grappling hook,
a dramatic rappel across mirrored
glass. I'll steal all their champagne bottles.
Smash them. Stuff the confetti
cannons with real diamonds. For a New
Year. For the plumbers covered in feathers
and sequins. For the city cracked
open. For its glorious, glittering heart.