Image by Louise Dickinson-Brown
by Lewis Turco
"Thank you," it said when she uncovered it,
having drawn the curtains, made sure the door was locked.
"I was beginning to think you had forgotten me."
It smiled, blinking in the electric light.
She sighed, began to fix a meal.
It watched as she worked slowly, gathering the few
utensils, heating the food. When she sat down it said,
"This smells good." It sniffed. It was awkward
for her to bend over the plate.
Through the door she could see the photographs upon
the wall of the other room: The dead man and the child
become an adult she rarely saw.
When she was through she washed the things.
"Please don't splash," it said. Afterward she could relax
and watch her evening show. She caught herself glancing to
the phone sometimes. "I don't think it will
"ring," it said; it was right, of course.
Outdoors the traffic faded; the lamps came on in
windows, on the streets. "It's time for bed," it told her when
the city lay stupored in its mist.
She rose, turned out the light so that
she would not have to see the body with its veins,
the sagging breasts, the gut — and sprouting out of it, the
little man, perfect as a child, grown
nearly out of her by now, as
the other one had done so long ago.
From an unpublished manuscript, A Book of Beasts, poems by Lewis Turco, illustrations by Louise Dickinson-Brown; the poems may be found in Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007, Scottsdale, AZ: www.StarCloudPress.com, 2007. ISBN 978-1-932842-19-7, cloth; ISBN 978-1-932842-20-3, paper. Also available in a Kindle edition.