In the ghetto frat house-cum-halfway house
(Feds’ fraudulent rehabilitative bridge), she clung to available life-rafts.
Chief among them the camaraderie of the sole female resident, whose arrival a month
into this chapter of her nightmare ended her solitary confinement. They bonded,
for sheer survival, in their equally middle-class-professional-suburban-mom-not-career-criminal
“OMG what??” live stream. Shell-shocked fish out of water,
they commiserated in head-shaking refrain “you can’t make this shit up.”
Both rebuilding, their trauma bond remains.
Tonight Bunkie texts – in the shorthand of shared
history- “Do you remember Joe Shmoe?” She does of course-
he cornered her on the patio one afternoon and pitched some screamingly illegal
money laundering scheme- for his piles of admittedly ill-gotten gains. She would have,
in his spiel, lent the aura of legitimacy necessary to cleanse drug and gun cash.
She listened noncommittally, her therapist training hiding the internal shrieks, until she could
escape conversational captivity.
Said felonious cohort, reports rattled Bunkie,
headlines local news, having been charged
in the murder of a girl babysitting, a bystander to a street shootout.
Safe now, geographically and situationally removed,
she nonetheless feels contaminated
from her “rehabilitative” stint.