He seems like a nice guy
leaning against the outside wall of the apartment complex in a plaid top
and ripped jeans, there is nothing menacing about him
but still my body tingles and I turn right instead of left
taking the long way home to avoid passing by him alone.
Last night it happened again
the only fault this man had was being built a little too muscular
and standing in the dark when I only have my phone to protect me –
he even opened the door for me with a smile and still
my skin crawled and every alarm in my brain was ready to sound off.
“Men can’t do anything right”
“Men have it so hard”
“You always think the worst of us”
And sometimes I do feel guilty-
when I avoid a walk way specifically because a man is standing there and there are no lights to convince me he isn’t a threat –
but then I remember every time a seemingly innocent looking man
really was a threat
every time my friend tells me she was too scared to leave her apartment
or every news article about another sister being attacked in the safety of her own home
and my guilt washes away because
we live in a world where you can never be too safe
and if that man with the smile and the plaid shirt means me no harm
I will add him to my list of alliances but
this list is so much shorter than my list of enemies.