By: Carly Hassenstab

Police tape lines the yard
I walk past
Baby blue house in cookie-cutter neighborhood
I look down and it says welcome
I quickly step in and close the door
so the camera flashes don’t glimpse inside
A table set for seven with pink orchids in the middle
Hand-colored drawings with markers on the fridge
Alphabet letters spelling words that don’t exist
I walk down wooded stairs
A big screen with Wii and PlayStation
Cords amongst cords and controllers
Board games and Twister on the shelves amongst
teen novels, adult fiction, and picture books
Door in corner eyes me expectantly
The lock was broken by fellow officers
I walk in
A storage shed with boxes
Christmas lights hang down
One more door hides in the shadows
I once more walk in
Concrete greets my feet
Cells with key inserts
Chains, heavy metal
Food bowls with water dishes
White chalk lines marking days
One, two, thirteen, twenty-five
I am upstairs once more
Intentionally saved for last
The family room
Couches matching patterns
Lamps on corner tables
A warm fireplace
Television with Disney movies on the floor
Pieces of glass by the wall
I gently step over the red stain on the carpet
Bullet holes in every picture frame
I study the pictures
They are smiling
They are lies