Parents in states across the Midwest and New England frighten their own children into good behavior by telling them about the hydrocephalic children who fled after a mental hospital burned and now live as a clan in the nearby forest.
The night is green and wet. The forest, serrated.
A door swings open: jaw and threat. Kick lantern,
start blaze. Wonder at what we have made.
A hunger catches in our throats. Desire hikes up.
The night swims, fluoresces. This cannot be cured.
The night breaks into syllables. The moon
billows and slouches and dry-swallows its pills:
a terrible machine. Thin leaves fall and flirt, the volume
unbearable. Like spilled pennies. Like a seaplane searching.
Nothing at all like celebration. Connected
by a blue thread, we bury our shipwrecks
along these shores. The night is ambivalent,
the night happens and happens. We are being chased
and then we're not. We dare you to believe we do not
exist. We are growth spurt, state of gray, reflection
of shadow against birch bark. We are the sum
of all your dears. We are visible. Listen: the night—
it is rough to the touch like fresh-splintered wood.
Amorak Huey, a former newspaper editor and reporter, teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His chapbook The Insomniac Circus is forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press, and his poems appear in The Best American Poetry 2012, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, and other journals. Follow him on Twitter: @amorak.