Henry Fuseli No Longer Rides Horses

Document
Cover Image

My nightmares have changed. They used to be full


of monsters and stairs only there


to fall down and men coming


to steal my once-a-baby brother.


I dreamt in strange languages and on one occasion


of a carpenter whose yellow-shadowed face leered


solemnly and my ribs trembled


in the terror a five-year-old does not understand.


 


One night there was a radio that danced


and wouldn’t turn off. I was not afraid


of this mechanical monstrosity, only


that it would wake my still-a-baby brother.


 


And sometimes I dreamed of death.


An abyss beyond stars and flashlights


with no mother’s lap


or father’s hand


for solace.


 


But they are not the same these nights. I have


given birth in my dining room


to an infant whose name I did not know.


I have stood in empty parking lots


of blaring headlights in the rain


spotlighting all the hiding places


I could no longer use.


 


Other times, sweaty men have lumbered


at me, aggressive


with their nudity.


And I have stared down


gritty-shadowed corridors


whose cracking doors loom and lord


in the dark.


 


One night there was a crash


(I heard but could not see)


and a blond woman


who swore frantically and I woke


trembling in the terror a twenty-year-old understands


but does not want to.


 


My brother came into my room and I could not explain


to him,


to this little boy who still dreams


of monsters, that I was afraid


not of the crash


or of the woman but of


the fear


in her gasp that was so loud


it could have been a howl.

Created: Jan 06, 2012

Tags:

HannahPie Document Media