The Safety of Women
Sarah Blake
Women are not often killed in the street. 
They are most often killed in the home. 
  
At every doctor’s appointment, I’m asked, 
Do you feel safe at home? The woman 
  
who should answer, No, most likely ends up 
dead—shot, if we’re going to be specific. 
  
And I want to be specific, when every vague  
word seems to hurt me, when it’s thought 
  
the surface speaks to everything needed 
to be said because the woman works 
  
on her surface alone. Look at my dancing 
on my own skin. Even the shell of me 
  
resembles nothing you could touch me to 
with words. Reach out elsewhere, your hand.  
Sarah Blake is the author of Mr. West, an unauthorized lyric biography of Kanye West, out from Wesleyan University Press in 2015. Her first chapbook, Named After Death, is forthcoming from Banango Editions with an illustrated companion workbook. Her epic poem, The Starship, appeared at Berfrois, and other poems of hers have appeared, or will soon, in the Kenyon ReviewPoetry NorthwestThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe Threepenny Review, and The Rumpus. In 2013, she was awarded an NEA fellowship for poetry. She is founder of Submittrs, and lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and son.


more by Sarah Blake:
A Threat
Mouths