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Safety

I comfort my shivering daughter

in those wee morning hours


just another dream

it can’t hurt you


and, wordlessly, for

her fingers are in her mouth,


she allows me to tuck her back in

and close her bedroom door.


Once it clicks shut, I drop the act

and fast walk, wild-eyed


past stairs leading

to abyssal witching depths


back to the master bedroom,

our supposed sanctuary, where


I refuse to let my feet linger

lest they be snatched


by cold, clammy hands

waiting beneath the bed.


I curl up under my covers,

leaving no digit exposed


knowing only

that I don’t know for sure


whether night’s shade is shared

and what’s concealed within, if so.




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