Genevieve DeGuzman

NIGHT TERRORS

 

If the beats of butterfly wings cause hurricanes
what would the echoes
of snores do?

I sleep on one side of the bed
closest to the wall.

The person who sleeps closest to the door
must defend against zombies
and stave off fanged dreams.

Easy fruit, being alone in bed. I reach up
and feel for the heavy-bodied crop,

those bunched-up grape ghostlings
limp
on the vine.

Look how the light makes itself threadbare
behind the finger fronds of my hand.

Look at these palms stained ink black.
Hamsa on my cheek, hellion breath.
I’ve thought about what would happen

when you left. I promised
to remember our flush days, the days we

steeped in pools of wild flamingoes.
But fiercer beasts are coming up the stairs now.
If you were here, we might have

faced them together, shared in their
impossibility.

I swap sides, exposing a parallel length of me,
settling in the imprint my body willed
like insomnia knit in the thread count.

Sleep gentle and easy. Love’s
tucked away in the asymptotes of

retracted claws. Hint of clatter on the floorboards.
It brings me closer and closer to the daybreak
I can reach for and reach for always.

 

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