After The Bogeyman, photographs
by Duane Michals, 1973
Daylight through the window encircles
a young girl reading a book
in the dark room, but her face
pulls me in like a lamp, becoming
the light’s truer source.
When I see that angel with her book,
I want to give her a guardian angel
who casts her vigilance through the glass
like the light does, to keep the dark
from encroaching and keep her in view.
Beside the girl looms a tall coat rack
from which hangs a long, black
threat. You can call it a coat
if you’re called to lighten the scene,
but that will not be enough.
There always exists someone driven
to cloak an intention, to act in secret
upon another, a smaller other. I can
wish all I want that darkness never
falls like a blow, that nightlights reign.
If this coat moves its legs, if arms
fatten the sleeves, look for hands
that offer candy or a doll, their fist.
You can never be too sure that
a nightmare only interrupts sleep.
Nasorri Pavone’s poetry has appeared in The Cortland Review, River Styx, New Letters, Harpur Palate, The Midwest Quarterly, DMQ Review, La Fovea, Slant, Roanoke Review, Bluestem, Stirring, Chaparral, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Confrontation, Rhino, Sycamore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Tule Review, Cura, Rise Up Review, The Citron Review, The Broadkill Review and elsewhere. Her first manuscript made it to semifinals for the Blue Lynx Prize competition and was a finalist for the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and C&R Press open submissions. Her work has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations, a recent nomination for Best of the Net and has been anthologized in Beyond the Lyric Moment (Tebot Bach, 2014).