The Woman Who Was Afraid of the Dark
Pebbled Water, Tacit Sky (detail)
Some said it came over her in the womb
where the boom of her mother’s heart
held her awake and flinching for nine months.
Some said that being born at midnight
from darkness and noise into darkness and voices
taught her. Some said that she believed she knew
the night is another tunnel into another womb.
And some said that she remembered her getting,
remembered the burrowing,
the sharp invasion of her soft sac.
What she knew was
that when the wind rustled the leaves in the forest
or the grasses along the road, she knew the sound,
knew that something waited,
waited to bite through the cord that held her to her breath,
waited to slice open her belly and crawl inside to warm itself,
waited to gnaw through her wrists and swallow her hands,
waited to sew her ear to its heavy heart
and refuse to let her die.