There’s a pterodactyl outside your bedroom window
claws like diamond cutters, eyes red slits.
You outran the sabertooth, left the tyrannosaurus in the
tarpit with a quick dash-and-roll, killed the raptor with your
bare hands but you haven’t been able to shake this one and
now it watches you sleep, head ducked between leather wings.
Close the curtains and hear it breathing, waiting.
The pizza places stopped delivering,
the neighbourhood pets have all disappeared.
Sometimes it leaves the heads of cats on
your doorstep, reminders that someday, it’ll be you.
For now, you bury your face.
In South Dakota a man carries bundles of firewood
through the snow, he’s got holes in his boots and his
wife no longer loves him. She stays because he’s the
only thing between her and the wolverine on the roof.
He’s not afraid of wolverines; he’s got an axe for that,
but he never leaves his bed ‘til sunrise; otherwise the wood
will splinter away, leave him pitching through an
endless stretch of dark.
You are certain of your floors and ceilings,
none of your doorknobs have ever come off in your hand.
You know you’re safe in alleys, don’t
worry about taxes, trolls or terrorists.
But the fear always hits you in the
back of the knees when you get home and
that’s how you know you’re home.
Because It’s out there,
raising black wings, eyes of red,
this is an old one I found when I was ruffling through my papers. Jake might remember it but I only read it once anyway. Gave it a few edits. I like when I write this sort of thing and it feels like it actually is something. Probably bring it out at a couple of upcoming features. May consider it for the chapbook submission.