If Hate was ink

By Emily Hardy


A man steps out, from the sewer,

His hair full of condensation,

What were you doing I wonder?

He does not answer,

Only offers me his hand.


Come he says,


It’s not safe for you out here,

But I do not listen,

I turn.


In my room, I switch the faucet on,

Wanting water to wash away sin,

But ink,

Black, dark and rotten ink, leaks out of the silver fixture,

I scream, no one hears,

But it does not turn off.


Another one bites the dust,

Rings clearly through my speaker,

I don’t wait,

I pick up my purse and leave.


I find no one in the halls,

No one at all,

But the one thing I do notice,

Is black ink leaking from behind each door,

Ruining carpet.


I discovered,

That the ink is sticky,

Like glue,

and it is sickly sticky,

Like poison.


Into the streets I venture,

I am shocked when the sky fills with dark clouds,

Cringing I expect rain,

But the first large drop is not water,

It is ink,



I feel a tap on my shoulder;

The woman hands me an umbrella;

She turns quickly, before I can ask why 

— I think the umbrella is to protect me —

But there is too much ink.


Umbrella in hand, I run back inside

To my room, and hide under the covers of my bed.

And when the doorbell rings,

I don’t answer,

But a door or umbrella stops nothing;

Ink bursts through.


I am enslaved.

Forced to cling to life,

Like the ink clings to me.

Be careful what you say,

Because it can all turn to ink.

And ink can stain,

Or ink can kill.