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.

Copyright 2021 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.