Safe

Here, have more zombies, says my brain.

 

We can’t leave the house, but that’s

All right. It’s a fairly big house, with

Windows that span whole walls, the glass

Making the space feel bigger

Than it is. And anyway, it’s the only place

We can be safe. You can see them

Beyond the glass, standing in the fields.

They won’t run for you if they can’t

Smell you, and even then they run

Slow. So we can open the door, even,

To let out the smoke from baking

Or feel the sun against our skin,

So long as we close it quick.

It’s night when the SWAT team comes,

Pushes past our matron, pressing guns

Into our faces. They say to bring

The suicides to the front, the people

Who in this ruined world want to die.

I’ve thought about it, but I don’t

Go, knowing before the most hopeless of us

Even step forward that this

Will be bad. The leader, crazed, lifts his gun

And shoots one boy’s head, screams at another

Girl, is this what she wants?

She cries and shakes, and somehow the rest

Of us get in the way.

We kill them all, the SWAT team, for invading

Our space. Some of us even eat

The leader’s legs, which is

It turns out, a bad thing. He was

Infected, and now a girl

Languishes on a couch, no way of knowing

When she’ll turn, or how many other people

May pick it up from her.

There’s nowhere safe outside the glass

But I whisper to my bowl of fish

That tonight, I’ll try to leave

Anyway.

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Moving Day

This probably comes from finally having begun cleaning out my childhood bedroom.

 

I’m moving to Canada today,

To room with a friend who has been

Waiting for me up there,

For some time.

There’s a pool in our new complex, so

I take care to pack bathing suits,

Especially those

I find comforting, reminders

Of this old home. My books

Are harder, too heavy to take many

With me, so I begin to stack them in piles

And move through them slowly,

Missing their thick spines

Already.

To Find a Demon

I’ve been watching too many things with demons in them recently.

 

I don’t technically have tickets to this train,

But that’s all right –

The takers are dull, and only think

Something’s gone wrong with their scanner,

When my out-of-date pass won’t register.

I get off with a crowd at the end of the line,

At the mansion party along the cliff

Everyone wants to be at. But I’ve come not

For fun, but to find a certain demon

I last heard could be found here.

The partygoers number in the thousands,

Each dark head similar to the last, even my parents

And mother-in-law part of the throng.

I search for the strongest sense of evil,

Follow it through marble halls

And green-tiled corridors until

I catch the eyes I need.

Amnesia

I don’t think my mind will ever be done with college.

 

Our professor has come back

To speak at our reunion,

One of my favorites but

On a research trip, she lost

All memory of us and herself.

Now, dressed like herself and able

To speak almost as she did,

She still has a confused glaze

To her every movement,

Especially when I remind her

Who I am, and press my cell number

Into her hand to say

I could be there, if she needed help.

Darkness Spreads

Another creepy dream after a chunk of time without any.

 

It’s in the trees,

She says as her mother drives away

Leaving us behind with our red Subaru

Parked in the middle of this snowy track

Through nothing but woods.

Alone, the danger is more real

And we leap into our car,

Shut the doors and drive

Until the trees are gone.

The sky holds a patch of stars

Through cloudy blue, the big dipper,

And as I point it out

Night bleeds through, sweeping like a wave

Over the whole world.

Something’s gone terribly wrong,

She says.

Night Harvest

Nothing like a creepy dream after weeks of not remembering any.

 

It’s important to be

Silent, in these woods.

A garbage truck growls by,

Prowling its way through the trees,

And I stay low,

Wait for it to pass.

The hill I need isn’t far in

But you have to leap a deep ravine

To get to it.

I jump, throw myself

At the lines of clothes and bedding

Strewn through the branches.

I manage to grab a blanket

Before I tumble down the other side,

Landing at a roll in

Grass singed to coarse sparseness.

I cannot be in this open space

For long, so I tear

The rest of my catch away

From the wood, and run.

It’s all I needed for tonight, anyway.

New Wings

This dream felt eerily real.

 

I look in the mirror in this

Darkened room, the glass stained

From years of dust and disuse.

While the others plan, I turn my back

To my reflection, remind myself

Of the way I can help. All it would take

Would be wings, if I could grow them.

I picture them, warm in my core, and

My skin splits, in two long slices of

Rawness and blood, from which press,

Like birth, feathers and joints and long

Hollow bones. The weight of them

Drags, but is manageable, especially as

I still cannot quite believe I have them,

Some years early, and bloody, but ready

To fight alongside the rest.