I woke from a nightmare

April 27, 2014

I'd been trapped in a creepy old house,
a giant, run-down mansion,
one that must have belonged to an oil tycoon

or maybe a New England old-money family,
who had their own custodial staff to
tend to the sprawling grounds,
and who wound up founding a well-respected university.

I was with my family.
We were trying to make our way
through the musty bedrooms
with stained carpeting and
bed sheets half done-up;

through long, labyrinthine hallways,
past broken staircases
and the cracked, graying tiles
of an empty indoor pool
with the view through enormous mildewed windows
of the dilapidated tennis courts.

We need to stick together, but
we keep peeling off,
one by one,
like in the movies.


I woke from the nightmare
and, because a nightmare is no way to
start a day,
I said to myself
"Don't let that get to you.
You're gonna have a good day."
It was morning and I rolled over in my bed.
There was a spot on the sheets
right by my head,
maybe a crumb, so
I looked closer--

A stink bug had crawled up next to me at night
and died.
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