The air smells black, like burnt
matches, like candlewicks.
The moon a polished silver
doorknob. It’s bitter, a chocolate
night. We dance along the street
like fallen leaves. Whispers
spark and snap from hollow trees.
We hear a sound like seeds
snickering in the dry heart
of a gourd, too late sense that some
monstrous thing has taken form
and comes clattering behind.
From dreams I know it: tall,
with gabled shoulders, blood-slick,
too many bones. A belly slack
with need. We’ve hunted up
and down these streets tonight,
filled our bags at bright porches,
doors opened in a burst of light.
Now something hunts for us.
Smoke frosts the moon.
The trees are gallows from which
shadows hang. I turn to run,
feel what might be horns against
my back. May I be faster than
my friends, I pray, may I outstrip
what comes to claim…
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