Of Two Evils
No longer are my dreams long halls
for monsters: people there
these nights are faceless and benign,
ready to waltz with me
when threads of music
knit the raveled sleeve of care.
My nightmare enemies
have moldered to the dust beneath my bed.
In shadowed closets, they
hung up their grotesqueries
and departed, closing the dark doors
neatly behind them.
No longer gray-green forests
where trees bend and snatch,
clawed branches catching.
Instead, a sunlit Van Gogh,
saplings in straight rows,
behind a house where water does not seep
through ceilings and floor carpet.
Closets with appropriate apparel,
no moving shapes. I wonder
have my days become so tame
that even dreams are steeped in ennui;
or so dangerous, worse than nightmare:
an interval in which one’s chance of life
is gauged by blood—not splashed on horrid walls,
but drawn in careful tubes in sterile rooms
along long halls of unrelenting light.