Wednesday, August 29, 2018


There is a Bar

There is a bar out west
that offers special drinks
for women
and not the kind that most
bars offer on
ladies night

but the kind that signals you need help.
It was invented by the bartender
who is, of course, a woman
and they are called angel shots

you can get them neat, or on the rocks, or with a lime.
Neat means you would like the bartender to call you a cab
because your date is not going well.
On ice is for an uber or a lyft
but a lime means you want the bartender
to call the police.

Because your date is not going well.

And there are signs in the women’s room
letting you know what your options are
and this is a good thing, I think,
telling my husband on the street
and he thinks so too
and we are both weirdly proud
of this woman and her plan to help keep women safe
and it isn’t until later
at night
when we are going to sleep
and I think about these drinks again
and the panic settles into my chest
squeezing my heart and lungs
so that I can barely breathe
and all I can see when I close my eyes

are girls
in body bags.

--Ally Malinenko

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