Speaking for fears


Some fears are best addressed, kept in their place:

Worried perhaps that they’ll reveal that you

Are panic clinging to flesh, a thing of fear

Hiding in personhood: you must resist,


Deny all cowardice. That is the mark

Of bravery, to be frightened, and to try.

In the dark, the match knows one word only,

And it speaks it once, forever. So must you.


Sometimes the cause of terror is best ignored.

For certain presences, an exorcism

Only lends credence to the incredible.

Glancing behind the door will make it lunge.


Speaking for fears, I know at times that they

Reserve their efforts, awaiting our turn.

They tell me, play your part. And so the art

Of hide-and-seek, a child’s game, is brought to us.


If I cannot dare to check, I close my eyes,

Awake, bed-bound. Clouds drown the moon: night rolls

Relentless, darkening. And I am left

With grasping sheets and restless dreams of horses.



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