In bed

published in Sweet Tree Review

I

I hear the rats run
in the walls like water
through a tree. My blood
thickens. I dream
the masturbation dream
the shelf above my bed
falling covering me in
dirt and decaying beetles.
I see my reflection is headless.

II

When the waves stop
and the moon grins down
to overtake me: the car
ran up the street that night
when you were nearly
molested in your neighbor's house:
is this why we don't have
neighbors? For this the trees
rot only for us?

III

I woke screaming and you
came to sit next to me. I felt
my eyes were open too wide
that I could not shut them
from the horror movie sitting
on your lap in the easy chair
in the dream the other dream
in the living room under
the tree. Why do I feel guilty?

IV

I wake up in a pool of water
closed over me like an eyelid.
There is no longer comfort
in staring at the ceiling.
Its pitch blackness beckons
into a future of blankness.
My body lay still quaking.
My mind is chained fast
to the beating of my heart.

V

I sit up slowly creaking.
I find myself alone buried
in an ocean. Far off
there is an eagle flying
toward me. She lands on
my knee and lays an egg.
I think not this again
something I've never
thought in my life.

VI

I think not this again
something I've never
thought in my life. Not
after losing my car keys
in the easy chair. Not after
scratching myself on a branch.
Not after finding the thing
in your dresser drawer that
night. I remember you suddenly.

VII

You run through me
like rats down an alley.
You are in my blood.
You scared me once
remember? Jumped out
of the bathroom door.
I fell screaming onto
the linoleum. Did you
apologize? Did you need to?

VIII

The ocean that surrounds me
creaks like a rocking
cradle. Your face bright
as the moon at eclipse
and as red. Low song
my tide stretching
to the horizon. Ripples
on the surface belie
something bigger beneath.

IX

In bed I am alone for
the only time. In bed
I am a grown man.
Below the blankets I
know you for who you are.
In bed I see your face
pressed against the window.
I look out and see you
and I am not afraid.