Scared of the Dark

It’s the time of night

when even dogs sleep quietly

and the crickets are louder

than the cars. The TV is on mute

and the fan spins unstably overhead.

I have read every email, liked every

Facebook post, nobody wants

to chat. It’s the time of night

I start to feel very uneasy

about being me, about what I said

the day before last Thursday

and I think if only I could stop myself

from ever speaking, everything would be

alright. It’s the time of night

every floor in my house creaks in pain

and if it didn’t complain today, it would

tomorrow because we’re all getting older,

it says. And I want to argue remodel, but

it reminds me of my credit. It’s the time of night

I realize my house is right and resign

myself to crow’s feet. It’s the time of night

my bills puff themselves up in their piles so

they are taller than the tomatoes. I want to band

them in a stack or burn them but I can’t stand

the sight of them. It’s the time of night

I picture my children running off a cliff –

falling from a mountain top

or being sucked into a tornado,

dropping from a Ferris wheel, kidnapped

by strangers, hit by a car, then drowned. It’s the time of night

I sneak into their rooms and sometimes

I take pictures because nine only lasts for one year

and days have passed already. I put blankets over their toes

because of frostbite. It’s the time of night

when darkness is heavy and I get worried so I reach out

to turn on the light, thinking maybe

if the corners weren’t so dark, honey and tea

would be enough to calm me and I could sleep

without wondering what else is breaking.

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