Today's poem is by Jennifer Militello

Answering Fear as if It Were a Question

In a unit of time, in a violence of sleep,
I first saw all the tiny murders in rain,
all the wartime verses: rain leading children

into the classroom of looking, into
the being afraid. Rain chipping its way
into the apple trees, into the mouths of rivers.

Stop, says the hypnosis. I cannot stop.
I've been thinking slivers of loneliness into
a handsewn shroud, thinking my toy heart

to ticking. Lying in bed at night, rain's
lonely sopranos open in the palm like swimmers,
a mere lisp of dried flowers in the wind.

All the verbs are ceaseless dioramas
of its wounds. Last night, the raindrops
opened where I felt my mouth, into

flesh-electric briars that said, breathe in.
This dark bulb being born is your sight.
Let it trample you beyond all recognition.

Last night, I dreamed for the first time since.
I dreamed in concrete. I dreamed in wool.
I must have slept for years.

Copyright © 2005 Jennifer Militello All rights reserved
from The Laurel Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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