Night is rustling in your chest cavity,
deep, dark winds swirling
unrepentant and chilled.
You are not alone.
Have you ever been truly alone?
Night watches you through eyes
reflecting like mirrors in the brush.
You slap a mosquito against your arm
and the insect bursts, red and sticky,
warm with your own blood.
Night drinks you in,
its horns sharp and body misshapen.
Can you see the night? Can you smell it?
It can smell you.
Tell me about oppressive darkness
that weighs heavy,
Tell me about the sound--
hooves against dirt,
a human stance.
A shotgun, off in the distance.
Tell me about the night
and how it swallowed you whole.
REFLECTIONS ON THE LAUNDROMAT, 2005
is it possible to cut the red tie between
the memory ; the family
where light is distorted by time
ripples in the fluorescence
a pocket for corduroy was spread across my lap that day
stuffed bear in the crevice of my arm
unsalted almonds clacked against teeth, against floor
now, i can almost make out the faintest
silhouette of what i once loved
stuck to the detergent splatters on the floor
my grandmother’s hair curled at the shoulder
dyed black, no hint of the gray that permeated the roots
my mother beside her, not daring to look each other in the eye
two backs facing me
warm towels folded with too much force
what does it mean to be a grandchild?
where can we push the blame?
tucked away in a cart pushed against the wall
fervent whispers that bite,
the constant machine rumble of water and cloth
the scrape of forgotten metal ; a heartbeat
i did not forget my teddy bear at the laundromat that day
but i will spend the rest of my life feeling like i had
August Bennet is a college student attending the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, enrolled in the BFA program for Writing & Applied Arts. Currently, they are the editor-in-chief of UW-Green Bay’s undergraduate staffed Journal of Art and Literature, Sheepshead Review. Their work appears in past issues of Sheepshead Review and Northern Lights.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.