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  • Writer's pictureHil Hoover

eerie iridescence ( are we even dreaming tonight)

i tried to turn out the lights but the walls kept falling away

with their switches out of my grasp

and my hands haven’t worked right in years

though no one can tell me why

might as well stumble outside and let the stars

sing me to sleep in the grass that the city keeps

sending us letters about

let the bugs leave marks on my skin

(well, they’re no worse than the ones within

that burrow into the muscles and nerves

make me twitch and bite my tongue

on screams that can’t be voiced

for fear of raw-throat terror that will

never stop if it starts)

that’s not the stars that i’m seeing now

though, is it?

that glow that starts somewhere

just a little

suspiciously low

under the treetops

above the grass

too close to be the neighbor’s

security light

(didn’t that get broken again, anyway?

not close enough for the candle

I carelessly set down on the porch

like some old-timey hero

who is definitely going to die

by ancient god before the poem is done

(i’m a witch, setting yourself on fire

is a rite of passage, I’ve already done

it, so I’m safe now, right?)

but about that glow,

the eerie iridescence

somewhere between the ground

wetting my skin and the trees

that if i lie here long enough

would gift their dying leaves

to me -

perhaps it’s just the afterimage

of some long-gone evening like this

but i close my eyes and let it stay

on my lashes, on the backs of my lids

and imagine i’m breathing it in

that whatever marks it leaves

might have a story

maybe whatever thing i become next

will understand that


maybe that's what the bugs that eat

my nerves speak

wouldn't that be cool

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