Nightmare

by Evelyn Hooven (January 2018)


There is No World Ended, Andre Masson, 1942

 

That shadow
Her hair abruptly
Recoiled
Amputated
By pins
Tries to move
Noiselessly
Tries to survive
On slim rations
Shivering
She starves and starves
Her cloak
Grows bulky
Bones protrude
Her breasts
Are like elbows
She is too ill
To continue
It is inappropriate
Surely
She will disappear
For reasons unknown
No shown weapon
No visible bruise
Or other obvious
Sign of violence.
 
One day
A trace
A strange trail
Is it dust?
Is it blood?
It is pitiful
Though necessary . . .
 
One morning
She is about to scream
To waken others
She must not
Waken them
They are asleep
In their cells
Some play dead
Others need
Ministering
The anesthesia
Might run out
Who will assist
With this instrument?
It is questionable
You are no criminal
The older pills are illicit.
 
She understands
Collapses soundlessly
Her bones
Fly through the keyhole
Her cloak
Useful, plausible
Covers the furniture
You are safe
The day, again,
Is yours.





____________________________
Evelyn Hooven graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her M.A. from Yale University, where she also studied at The Yale School of Drama.  A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, she has had presentations of her verse dramas at several theatrical venues, including The Maxwell Anderson Playwrights Series in Greenwich, CT (after a state-wide competition) and The Poet’s Theatre in Cambridge, MA (result of a national competition). Her poems and translations from the French have appeared in ART TIMES, Chelsea, The Literary Review, THE SHOp: A Magazine of Poetry (in Ireland), The Tribeca Poetry Review, Vallum (in Montreal), and other journals, and her literary criticism in Oxford University’s Essays in Criticism.
 
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More by Evelyn Hooven here.