by: p. botte

Why does it come so often?  Again, it is here.  The night is good, should be good at least, a good place to hide.  But it doesn’t matter.  It noses the air like a dog and finds you through the black hair of night.  It crawls over the road, through the veined shadows of the branches swaying in the moonlight.  It crawls over the road and down then into the ditch, through the culvert, its arms moving like spider legs, like dreams of flesh beneath fevered eyelids, like shadowed memories.  Its legs move across asphalt and grass and back under the sway of trees and the tangle of dead garden.  Its fingers move under the siding of the house, looking for cracks or fissures where it can taste the air, taste the silence inside, taste my fear. 

The night is good because I can hide.  I can silence my voice.  I can silence my breathing.  It lingers here and there at the corners of the house.  It tastes the air.  But I, too, taste its presence.  I can feel the heaviness of its sodden breath, the want of its dead stare.  I hold these certainties like religion to my breast as I huddle in my blanketed corner, slowing my breath, slowing my heart, slowing all things until my eyes droop beneath the close hulk of my quilts. 

All is silent.  And in that silence, I can taste the thing that is tasting me.  Day will come on the far end of this darkness and I will then have to rise and walk amongst the waste left behind by this creature and fear, then, the night that waits again.  I love the night, as I can sit inside of it and be the thing that hungers for me.