In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Instructions for the Hostage
  • Erin Belieu (bio)

Instructions for the Hostage

You must accept the door is never shut.You're always free to leave at any time,though the hostage will remain, no matter what.

The damage could be managed, so you thought,essential to the theory of your crime:you must accept the door is never shut.

Soon, you'll need to choose which parts to cutfor proof of life, then settle on your spine—though the hostage will remain, no matter what.

Buried with a straw, it's the weak that startconsidering their price. You're no great sum.You must accept the door is never shut,

and make a half-life there, aware, apart,afraid your captor has misplaced you, so far down,though the hostage you'll remain, no matter what.

Blink once for yes, and twice for yes—the hearthas a signal for the willing, its purity sublime.You must accept the door was never shut,though the hostage will remain, no matter what. [End Page 103]

Erin Belieu

Erin Belieu is the author of five poetry collections, all published by Copper Canyon Press, including her forthcoming Come-Hither Honeycomb. Belieu is on the faculty of the University of Houston's creative writing program.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2327-8307
Print ISSN
0163-075X
Pages
p. 103
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-28
Open Access
No
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