A bottle washes up on the edge
of the shore. Inside are your dreams from
seven years old. Crumpled, crayon-stained paper,
dragon breathing fire into cold night.
Last night you dreamed
of your house burning down
and your family picking flowers
in the garden out front, oblivious,
while you tore at the soft blue curtains
on your top-floor bedroom.
Again it is night. There’s this scene in a movie you saw
once, where the straw man sways in the empty field
and the boy picks bones from his teeth. It is night and
the shed is full of cobwebbed silk, home for
many-legged creeping things.
You take a look at your fingernails:
ink-stained, jagged, yours,
the light aching through
thin crescent moons, controlling tide.
Fingernails too short to scratch
the bite, you leave it unsatisfied while the
gnawing grows and grows, monster.
Straw man stands in an open field, crows
jabbing their hooks into open sockets in search
of something like meat. You light
your hair on fire to see in the dark, eyes open,
painless and wonderful. Wander away, no
mother calling after heavy footprints, one locked door.
It is night and once again the monster creeps out
from under the bed. Boy looks at moon,
cold and distant rock, hanging
and solitary. Boy looks at moon, hungry,
and buries his bones too deep to unearth.
Shira Haus is a student at Allegheny College studying English, Spanish, and political science. Haus’s work has been published in places such as the Albion Review, Snapdragon Journal, and the Oakland Arts Review. Haus has always been interested in exploring humanity’s darker, more intense emotions and desires through literature. In free time, Haus likes to read, cook, and knit while daydreaming about herding sheep in the mountains.