A moment after midnight, the
black phantoms in the back
of my mind come hauntingly,
drawing rope around
my fists. My eyelids
are alert to the weight of darkness,
fearful that sleep has stirred
old memories. Gingerly,
my body collects lost symbols of
his language, long lapsed
into disuse. My skin talks a cold
June evening in a brown rocking chair, I
kept his hand off my bosom. My
languid fingers traced his worn-out
hand, making it hold lust back.
Never did this happen. Did it?
Or was my innocent strength unable to
push away his claws? A heavy overdose of
reality brings confusion. The sheets are warm. I
sleep this uncertainty off
with the feeling of inhabiting a new
house, I enter my body
under a new skin. In the distance I see
the vague animal outline, shrunken in fear.
Where is it going? I stay
here, x-raying the night. Watching him
yield to extinction. Lines are drawn
in my palms. A zigzag
of a silent struggle.
Artwork by John Clapp, “Into the Darkness”