Of Rapists and Coyotes

5:30 a.m., sliver of moon-sky
a faint guiding flashlight, and I
a bleary-eyed zombie shuffling behind
this curious dog, my friend.

Fuck rapists and coyotes,
bobcats and mountain lions,
fuck you all! I intone tacitly,
my little mantra of protection.

Don’t fuck with this mother.
I’m not awake yet.
I haven’t had my coffee. And
the dog just kept me up all night–again.

Gotta out-predator the predator,
grow as large as the fear within you.
Intimidate that unknown darkness.
Into submission it writhes its little death–gone.

No evisceration on the road this morning;
no take down by wild beasts–no.
I am Amber’s inner warrior,
too determined to brew coffee before I go.

My neighbor turns off her light, peaks
a chilled nose through a slit in a curtain;
I turn on my flashlight, raise its glow to her window.
No, lady, not a rapist or a coyote. Just your neighbor.

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