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You could use a fuck,


a laugh, a meal, a distraction.


So your family forms.


You hate their habits and their tactics,


but adopt them for revenge,


and then for safety.


Can you hear them getting ready


for a dinner party?


Your paranoia springs from self-knowledge.


The days repeat like nervous fingers


tapping on a tabletop.


And hoping to hear what pleas for help


the kidnappers let slip among the prisoners,


you pressed your ear to the radio.


Something gives way.


When the kidnappers finally decide,


and freedom comes at last,


you will miss it.


You will be too busy


making sure


that no one gets away.




Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels including The Last Bad Jobs, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment – A Tragedy, was named a semifinalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than ninety publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.

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