Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Nightmares You Knew

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Nightmares You Knew

Article excerpt

What would be worse, you wondered, the nightmares you actually

pictured,

Or incubus, devoid of features,

Nameless, not even a creature?

No doubt the nameless. So you chose the ones you could visualize.

If that's what you want, the nightmares whispered, and brought a digit-sized

Splendent coral snake to slide,

All wriggle and toxin, inside

The house, your mind. He was the first to corrupt your slumber.

Then they decided upon a different guise altogether:

Scorpion, her claws tick-ticking under

Your bed. You heard. Small wonder

You felt so lonely, you felt so oddly accident-prone.

Gila monster appeared to lie stock-still, alone

in the dust-balled corner of the room,

like a heap of piebald stones.

The only sign that he lived was the cold stones' rhythmic pulsing.

She-ermine entered next. You watched, you winced, recoiling -

In the dead of winter, bone-chilling -

Fom red diacritics marking

The snow: pale page with umlaut and circumflex of plunder. …

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