Sometimes morose but never sad
I’m vicious to what comes along.
They’ll dance and dance when I am dead
To that old grave-dancer’s song.
Fear leaves its mark
That later courage can’t efface; and still they teach as they were taught.
What do they understand about the dark?
The night’s for springing evil, sullen things that lurk.
Perhaps they knew this once, but in the lengthening years, forgot.
(And yet still feel a vague unease: fear leaves its mark.)
Can’t they recall night’s broken silences, how stark
Each alien sound? Recall the endless waiting for the things the night has brought?
Why can’t they understand about the dark?
They will not speak of things that wait or stalk;
They will not name the ones who have been lost
At night, or speak to those upon whom fear has left its mark.
Instead they’ll tell you to be brave; they’ll smirk
And say your fear is only in your thoughts.
Oh no, they do not understand about the dark.
And nothing that they say to do will work:
You cannot face, or fight, or flee. You cannot.
Fear lives outside you, and will leave its mark
On those who understand about the dark.
If something comes
I swear I’ll hear the sound.
But then what? Can I run?
A dream will hunt me down.
Who once feared dying loves the done deed, death:
the body purged of breath,
relieved of the uncertainty of what comes next,
relieved of the need to expect.
Fear dreams, and sleep makes dreaming real.
I do not like to rest. I stay up late.
From the inchoate room sleep builds, where syntax fails,
I know one day I’ll find I cannot wake.
Beast hallucinations claw my face
from inside, seeing now’s their chance:
the gate of sleep begun to swing, the beckoning escape.
Dreaming, dreaming makes them, makes them dance.