The lightless flux is a cacophony this time of night.
A dark violet hue ripples and curls around ghost gutters,
black ellipses shiver like silent vibrato beneath the maples
and a tail drags its velvet swatch into the storm drain.

My friend’s rapist was the sweat-mark of a body
against oozing bulbs, a stripped suit lifted from grimed flooring,
made animate, thrusting as if by strings—pretending to be man.
Hollowed vessels take up space as cloned nesting dolls,
shadows shaped like the others.

What would I find if I unscrewed the dark scalp of moon
crawling behind bushes, tucked in the acute angles
unfurled from the porches like tapestry?

Is a question that I can’t seem to fit on my tongue.

How many shadows of shadows of shadows can we brand?
A man’s husk is a rayless skin draped across the lawns,
the dew a projection on chilled blades, patches of dirt sculpted
where morning is left wet—the moist soil particles
less than a hundredth of a millimeter thick, yet
will we decide that they, too, are consuming?

The world and my body are becoming more crowded—
the dark space like cinched crocuses, the spindly casts
already slithering between my thighs, the night
has no more room for humming.

Cicadas molt skins that are stuck buzzing on tree bark.
Down the street, a baying dog becomes a follower
of some-thing else, the rodent, a runaway
from some-one else.

Tonight, I try using my heels to peel away leafed pellicle—
brush back black strips swaying, tattered lace tied to townhouses.
I guess my muscles have ousted the clutter of memory.

I guess I am becoming someone else’s reflex—
yet another beaker to be filled:
an echo of existence.