by Richard Dinges, Jr.
I wander the house at night.
the dog takes my place in bed
beside my wife who keeps her dreams
behind breath's soft rustle.
Her eyes flutter beneath an illusion
I cannot share. The cat dares me
to grow fur, spread claws and curl
a rough tongue into air
that tastes of curdled blood.
When I fail, the cat tip-toes into shadows.
I remain within the same old bare
pink skin. Cars pass the house
in the middle of the night.
I catch their headlights
through the window by surprise.
We stare unblinking at each other
through a brittle glass pane,
and then the car rushes past
to catch the dawn somewhere
just over the horizon. I am left
to look out into the dark yards.
My own pale reflection peeks back inside
and envisions the warmth of a soft bed
hidden somewhere behind me.
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