No Place Safe

by Rob MacDonald

Our whole family could see
the neighbors' kitchen,

filled with flames,
and we could also see them

one floor above the blaze,
having sex on the sofa.

I was only eight years old,
but I knew it was going to hurt

to watch them stop
and answer the phone

and run naked down the stairs
to save their home—

no place safe and
none of us unashamed—

with a few powdery clouds
from a little extinguisher.