Still Afraid of the Dark
2:46 a.m.; I stand by the window. The room is dark, her sleep spilling over the pillows and pooling on the floor. A man stands on the street, doing lines of light that seep through the hairline cracks in the night. Overhead, a street lamp sinks him deeper into the asphalt. He screams, she sleeps, the strands tangle in his teeth. I open my mouth but make no sound. The night is blue and I am blue, the shadow of the blinds cutting me into pieces. I’m bleeding, I’m blue, I want to go to sleep. The man’s throat strangles a scream. He kicks something and I remember the time I fell off my bike and broke my toe. I was six; I am seven, sleepwalking, my eyes won’t shut. Eight, nine sheep buried under the street. Ten years of drowning in the sheets. I press my ear to her chest and hear waves, dwarfing, deafening. The man’s words devolve into the gutter and wash out to sea. Somewhere far away,
she wakes up.