Sometimes that which is dangerous is made only that way because we are dangerous, too. See: a crowded stadium, or, an etiquette that we do not respect. A group that believes itself
a search party, but can’t agree on what it’s looking for: bravery, for one, lunch for another, and thusly the inner workings of this small
institution break down. Now they are looking for a way into or out of a brawl, depending on how hard they believed in the party’s original end. You can ruin many rules by disregarding them,
though just not following’s never enough, because not following, because running a red light with fear, means your fear respects the authority against
which it rebels. The rule of right side out. The rule of hand holding. The rule of what is or is not an occupied chair. A password was for a long time
the thing you gave at the door, when this giving is a spoken thing. Here’s a secret, now tell me another, was the exchange, wherein the second secret is a room. The rule of chambers. The rule
that says you never stop looking. The rule that tells all the other rules what they’re supposed to do.
Claire Sylvester Smith has recent work appearing or forthcoming in Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Southeast Review, Verse Daily, and Gulf Coast. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. (7/2013)