Poem

I understand, Maggie—I, too, expected
Barnabas would break into my bedroom

in the middle of the night. My jugular
was yours in close-up, moist bite marks

throbbing double-time. “That room
the nurse had left open just a crack,”

the doctor says, pointing at the window
where Maggie disappeared, “was wide open.”

Poor Willie, everyone’s sadomasochistic
toy, beaten by Barnabas with his serpent-

head cane and, now, slapped bloody
by Jason who claims, “I’m prepared

to go all the way, my boy.”

[EXCERPT FROM "THE COMPLETE 'DARK SHADOWS' (OF MY CHILDHOOD)"
by Tony Trigilio]

Night Vision

the girl fits her body in
to the space between the bed
and the wall. she is a stalk,
exhausted. she will do some
thing with this. she will
surround these bones with flesh,
she will cultivate night vision.
she will train her tongue
to lie still in her mouth and listen.
the girl slips into sleep.
her dream is red and raging.
she will remember
to build something human with it.

[night vision // lucille clifton]