My cunning conscience stands outside herself, filling the air like a four-cornered bed. There is a landscape of distance in her hawk-wild eyes, and the voice out of her throat’s darkness flows like a restless river. It is haunted, heavy with half-notes hymes. I watch her movements, and I ask, “From what stock has she been born?” “Why does she circle my silent soul like a thief?” Such inquiries are aimless; like a goblin she comes again, tapping the window like rain, she goes here, there, wherever she pleases.
Her paper face is pocked with erasures, words written, so many times over, so many years back.
As night pours in and covers the length of my bed, I pretend I’m asleep. Outside, the birds are still as shadowed ships. She comes through the door though I don’t hear it open. She sits at the end of my bed, even closer, leaning forward in an effort to overwhelm me. As in a dream, I see her kneel in every part of my lifetime. Her strange fingers intrude over half of the bed- “Move over, my child,” I hear- but I go on dreaming. Thinking to escape her- I repent…..
I lie spread-eagled across the sky, covering all the contours of the moon. Inside me, doors keep closing, inward and inward again, I close out the world…..
Patricia Kelly Gangas from her 3rd book of poetry, These Places of Light