Law and Order
He came up behind me on the street
and held a knife to my bare throat.
My bag was tucked under my arm
but I loosed my grip and let him
rummage inside among my things.
My wallet. With the library cards,
the raffle tickets, and some cash.
With one hand he filched the notes.
I could not see his face but heard
his breath panting on my neck.
My visa card fell to the pavement.
I felt the awkward stoop jolt me
as he picked it up. "What's this?"
he said. "What's your name?" he said.
He dragged me backwards towards
the ATM and I silently acquiesced.
I saw a woman looking at us in this
intimate embrace. In this city street.
The quizzical look you give to lovers
stealing kisses from each other like
a violent crime, a grievous bodily harm.
I struggled to speak, above the knife,
"He wants to know my name!" I said.
- Jennifer Compton - Law and Order