“The real haunting is the light itself.”
When you speak his name a second time,
do not grin. His spirit will slip
past your teeth into your core. All light
will wane from your eyes,
and shadows of horns will sprout
from your shoulder blades.
As much as you would like to hear
trees whisper, the moon cry,
it is not worth inviting him
to reverse your blood’s flow.
If you are lucky enough to spot him
floating in the stranger’s shadow
sitting next to you on the bus,
beg the driver to let you off
before he smells how much you want.
Take as many with you as will come.
Or at least remind them before you leave
how right it is to fear the near at hand.
Jack B. Bedell
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Elliptic (Yellow Flag Press, 2016), Revenant (Blue Horse Press, 2016), and Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems (Texas Review Press, 2013). He has recently been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.
Artwork: Iren Horrors, Wendigo