This poem is taken from Stand 222, 17(2) May - June 2019.

Reiss McGuinness Poem
Arranging a Meeting With a Long-Term Enemy

When he rings the bell, I twist the venetian blinds open.
He waves to me from the outside. I twist the blinds shut,
then open them, repeat this at such a speed I make a stop-motion animation
out of him waving his arms up and down.

When he bangs on the door I open the letter box and slam it shut
as if I am knocking on the entrance to the outside world.
I yell: Hello, are you going to let me out?

When he persists, makes a commotion in the street at night,
I turn off the lights, peel back the curtain on the fourth floor window
and fire water from a toy gun at him, sprint to another window,

another floor, fire from eight different directions within seconds of each other
until he loses his mind, collapses in the street, soaked
in what has been mistaken for a pool of his own tears.
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