Les terreurs d’une nuit

In the dark when you cannot see well

and squint futile

shadows take on recollection

you are, again, that child

wide-eyed and awake in night

seeing monsters configure themselves

at the foot of your bed

and maybe

climb on in.

Time is definitely female

a circle and not a line

she curves backward

like a hungry snake

devouring her tail

she dives forward

impulsively, unknowingly

as if she too

is unseeing.

Though decades pass

we speak still in the dark

in the voice of a child

surging from within us

bile, relief, sweet, salty, sticky fingers

eating the last of childhood

forbidden to those who

no longer grow upward

only inward, if they are

lucky.

I have lain in many beds

with lovers, sometimes alone

standing in, for absent friends

memory like a scar, whispers

near and far, recollection a drumbeat

solace in stillness, the cliff you walk to

without seeing its drop.

It always scared me to hear

the sounds of night dance around me

in abandonment

though more than anything I wished

to join in

their unseeing merriment

as if by releasing my fear I could

inhabit a deeper rest.

8 thoughts on “Les terreurs d’une nuit

  1. These lines came to me:

    “Oh, I think I understand
    Fear is like a wilderland
    Stepping stones or sinking sand” – Joni Mitchell – I Think I understand

  2. eating the last of childhood/ forbidden to those who/ no longer grow upward/ only inward, if they are
    lucky. Such striking, truthful lines

  3. May time and the night be kind to us. You have it so right: there’s an invitation there, unseeing as it is, and rest for the fearless. Blessings, my dear, for the year to come!

  4. I felt these lines the most; there’s so much to connect with here:

    “I have lain in many beds

    with lovers, sometimes alone

    standing in, for absent friends

    memory like a scar, whispers

    near and far, recollection a drumbeat

    solace in stillness, the cliff you walk to

    without seeing its drop.”

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