I lay in the dark afraid of the dark,
Once, in Alabama, in 1954,
The year before electricity,
And prayed and could not pray
One lamp for all the world
And, listening, heard the L&N
Screech at Lacon, and then
The unmuted spirit breathing of the house.
I lay in the dark afraid of the dark
And thought of the word eternity
And of the hydrogen bomb.
Sometimes now in sleep I ululate.
When Katy shakes me, asking why,
I mean to keep things light. I say,
“That is the noise I always make
When I am being devoured.”