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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Cadostin

No Knock

This morning

I looked into the mirror at nothing and nothing

looked back–

vacant slats of reflected light where eyes should have been.

I went through my day

disappearing from glass countertops and store windows,

a shapeless figure

trying on hats, gloves and

a fur coat

that would usually have gotten me followed around the store,

but not today.

Today I got lost in the back

of the coffee shop line,

every approaching customer bumping me out of the way

without so much as a “‘scuse me.”

I must have dissolved on contact,

wandering elbows sliced through the space

where my collarbone might’ve been,

and I never got my coffee.

“Hey! watch it lady” I’d said at the deli,

trying to stop some “in-finance-for-the-security” and “what-a-lovely-skirt-suit” type from digging

her work-safe heels into my dusty sneakers.

But I saw my outcry float up around her head and dissipate

like cigarette smoke

before it even reached her ears.

That night I lay in bed


for the first time that day, the presence of my body

against the softened starch of old sheets.

Someone barged in.

Heavy boots tracked cakey mud onto my pristine floors and

kicked my covers off.

Yelling words in my direction and pointing flashlights down my nightgown,

they must not have seen my hands folded under my head in surrender.

Must have missed my questions and confused I’m sorries because

the bullet went right through.

I like to think my blood had color, that it stained

my sheets crimson.

Like to imagine the brown of my skin slowly seeping

to fill in my outline.

I like to think they gasped at the horror.

But probably,

it did not.

Probably they didn’t, either,

and the only ones who might have known

I’d ever been there are the other

No Ones,

with no reflection to speak of.

Edited by: Rachel Goulston

Cover Photo Credit: Victoria Cadostin

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