My father swallows crime drama through his chest into full stomach:
feet up, arms crossed, heart pounding, give me guns,
quirky dialogue , the killer stashed in a cell after an appropriate
number of victims, the body of a cruel man splayed like fine silk
across the hood of his stolen car. Distant violence is its own kind of high.
But give him a story about the baker
who loves his wife and kids
and plays tennis on the weekends
and overheard just too much outside his shop
one night to be allowed to keep his mouth;
about the unsuspecting woman caught up in a crime ring;
about the houses broken into, the girls who look so familiar
woken by the flash of metal against their throats;
he will change channels. This is the wrong kind of heartbeat,
a different lump in his throat.
He wants to watch knowing it can never happen to him.
Maybe it is the same reason I watch 'Top 10 Creepy Unsolved Mysteries'
at midnight with my phone torch on; or why my sister
loves horror movies but is terrified to step on a scale.
Maybe it is why she only flirts with boys online. It is easier to love something
when we know it cannot touch us.
There is an uncomfortable thrill in watching a building burn