Why Monsters Live in Nightmares – by Patricia Nelson

Watch the white air fill with birds.
How quickly they cover themselves
in distance and smallness,
where you can forget them.

Then the night that fills with things
you can’t hold still with words.
The wet, black oval of the mind
where the indelible animals ride:

The dragon who enters the myth
of victory, wiping her flaming jaw
in the cool mud of her cave.
How large she is in the dark.

The deformed dog who paces
at the gate to the dead.
How the dark strokes his sides,
his writhing moon-cold hair.

How slyly their shapes elide
across the bottom of the day.
Shadows opening like flowers.

Patricia NelsonPatricia Nelson is completing a book of poetic monologues by monsters and seers.