In Bed

Case Duckworth

I hear the rats run
in the walls like water
through a tree. My blood

thickens. I dream
the masturbation dream
the shelf above my bed

falling covering me in
dirt and decaying beetles.
I see my reflection is headless.

When the waves stop
and the moon grins down
to overtake me: the car

ran up the street that night
when you were nearly
molested in your neighbor's house:

is this why we don't have
neighbors? For this the trees
rot only for us?

I woke screaming and you
came to sit next to me. I felt
my eyes were open too wide

that I could not shut them
from the horror movie sitting
on your lap in the easy chair

in the dream the other dream
in the living room under
the tree. Why do I feel guilty?

I wake up in a pool of water
closed over me like an eyelid.
There is no longer comfort

in staring at the ceiling.
Its pitch blackness beckons
into a future of blankness.

My body lay still quaking.
My mind is chained fast
to the beating of my heart.

I sit up slowly creaking.
I find myself alone buried
in an ocean. Far off

there is an eagle flying
toward me. She lands on
my knee and lays an egg.

I think *not this again*
something I've never
thought in my life.

I think *not this again*
something I've never
thought in my life. Not

after losing my car keys
in the easy chair. Not after
scratching myself on a branch.

Not after finding the thing
in your dresser drawer that
night. I remember you suddenly.

You run through me
like rats down an alley.
You are in my blood.

You scared me once
remember? Jumped out
of the bathroom door.

I fell screaming onto
the linoleum. Did you
apologize? Did you need to?

The ocean that surrounds me
creaks like a rocking
cradle. Your face bright

as the moon at eclipse
and as red. Low song
my tide stretching

to the horizon. Ripples
on the surface belie
something bigger beneath.

In bed I am alone for
the only time. In bed
I am a grown man.

Below the blankets I
know you for who you are.
In bed I see your face

pressed against the window.
I look out and see you
and I am not afraid.



Case Duckworth is a press operator living in Baton Rouge. He's been involved in the editorial process at the Sequoyah Review, Thin Air magazine, slashnburn magazine, and Kindred magazine. He is the founder and sole constant member of avant-garde art collective LOOSE POOPS. His favorite food is Frosted Mini Wheats with almond milk.

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