Volume 22, Number 2

Bringing Darkness Inside

The mouth of day wide open,
you part the curtains on the light.
Dust smokes into the room, sculpts
faces tenuous as clouds. Memory
of the night disintegrates. You walk
into the bathroom, flip on the overhead.
Silverfish swiveling down the walls.

Soap scum in the sink. On morning
television dung beetles roll news bites
into tidy brown balls, scarabesques.
Half-listening to the devil's soliloquy,
an endless monologue of strife,
you recall something that might
have been a dream, how the cat

outdoors last night found Darkness,
brought it inside to your bedroom
to the flap of leather wings, white teeth
sunk in the black scruff of its neck.
You remember how Darkness sounded
when it spoke, voice pensive, as if
you weren't there, the story, its alone.

I am a man gone on a journey.
I am the stranger come to town.

—Susan Rooke