Goose-down Terrors


A black knot twists under covers

like someone I used to know.


Hard to swallow, solid. Whatever’s in

my gut is counted in folds,


mucous membrane, edgeless decades

of dead that finally found me.


In the street-lit room I pace, panic through

sheets of spider silk. It is the endless


nothing I can’t stop. God, take away this

skin scratch. My dog, sleeping in a corner


stomps snakes after a third turn

clockwise. – There are no comforts


in languages of twitch and dream. Repeated

cries, high pitched yips, don’t


amuse or calm. My eyelid has a tic

to top that field mouse dream. Wide awake,


I shake. I’ve got a fist of hair, still connected

to silver scalp. I can’t lie down in this disheveled


bed, where no one wakes. Sweated sheets wind

in cold puddling, the shape of a sleepless body.


Goose-down terrors drip damp, fluttering

big things shift beneath a blanket.  

First Publication: White Stag Literary Journal, Volume IV, Issue I, Ghost Motel, 2017