by Roz Levine

Because it takes only a tiny misstep
I check blankets for frayed wires
Examine feces for blood clots
Search for carjackers in my Honda
I sniff out gas leaks for toxic fumes
Scan the mall for kidnappers
Carry a whistle on dark streets
I map my breast for new lumps
Keep a packed bag on my nightstand
I’m always ready for an earthquake
Always on the lookout for death

IMAGE: “Umbrella Girl,” street art by Banksy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roz Levine is a Los Angeles poet who has written poems since the age of eight. When she retired several years ago, writing became her number one passion. Words have helped her navigate cancer and helped her maintain her sanity in a not-so-sane world. Her letters to the editor on issues of national and international interest have appeared frequently in both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Her poetry has appeared in a range of publications, including Cultural Weekly, Poetry Superhighway, Silver Birch Press, Pulse, The Sun, On The Bus, FRE&D, Forever in Love, Deliver Me, and The Juice Bar.

Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher.