There’s Nothing Under the Bed

Emily Dolan


sunlight shredded through picket fence slats leaves golden bars on neatly clipped grass

                while a freshly bathed robin lets its wet breast drip down the ivy tangled wood;

                it only looks like blood for a moment — just until a drop frees itself

                from the crimson down feathers that pleat its too-fragile neck and breast;

empty flower boxes decorate a house’s exterior with their cobwebs, dusty oranges and

                greens, adding something almost happy to the off-white siding and gutters

                a lonely oak tree raps its bony fingers against the windows, leaves infiltrating

                bedrooms and hallways — haunting them with their shadows; down the street,

shirts dangle limply from their clothespins — wet, detergent-scented flags

                waved by the living, like proof of something (I don’t know what);

every mailbox soldier stands at attention, resolutely staring down every passing Lexxus and                                     Honda, daring wheels to swerve off-course, daring the driver to be

                a drunk from down the street or a teenager who plays music that

                doesn’t belong in this kind of neighborhood;

silence, thick against the dew, pools where the sprinklers stopped chattering;

                it’s shattered by the sputter of engines waking up, the resulting ripples

                ballooning to the barely-roused sun, tempting it to burn it all;

in a cul-de-sac (somewhere), there’s a father cooing his daughter, drenched in sweat and piss                                   from nightmares, telling her that danger won’t fit in her closet, that monsters

                have more important places to be than under her bed

                                (while the growls of garbage-cans press their faces against the glass

                                of her window as they’re dragged out to be emptied)

                and, in a sense, he’s right




Emily Dolan is a 25 year old poet currently living in Sevilla, Spain. After completing her biology degree in 2016, she moved to Europe in pursuit of a professional soccer career. She has prior poetry and fiction publications in the Mangrove Review, and has publications forthcoming in CircleShow and Inklette.