Night Piece, By Louise Gluck
He knows he will be hurt.
The warnings come to him in bed
because repose threatens him: in the camouflaging
light of the nightlight, he pretends to guard
the flesh in which his life is summarized.
He spreads his arms. On the wall, a corresponding figure
links him to the darkness he cannot control.
In its forms, the beasts originate
who are his enemies. He cannot sleep
apart from them.
From “First Light: Mother & Son Poems,” edited by Jason Shinder (Harvest/Harcourt Brace: 154 pp., $9.95)