It Comes By Night by Kaitlin Kerr

It Comes By Night

by Kaitlin Kerr

1. Again

It surprises me
for the 400th night in a row.
It slid under the door this time,
flattening its bones
like a rat.

Yesterday, it crawled in
through the cracks.
It waits,
I think,
inside the cabinet 
underneath the sink.
inside my ear.

I feel it inside me
as the sun sets
and storm clouds wrinkle soggy mouths...
And so,
it must have jumped
down my throat;
lodged itself
in my stomach.
It doesn’t move.
In fact, tonight, it has hooked
into fascia
with razored talons,
sharpened on rain.

It is impossible
not to imagine
seizing a knife;
cutting it
This is a ritual
written and ready,
as the half-moon rises.

But now it’s made its way
through connective tissue
and lodged itself within the layers
of my left lung.

It is growing.
It is always growing.
up my spine.
to the fibers behind my eyes.

2. The Drop

A curtain falls across my vision.
A concrete door slams shut.
The fall of man;
of woman —
Performed in repertory
with expertise grown
of devoted practice
in being defeated.

Things happen...

And I feel them:
wet, sharp, and heavy.
Cannot see them.
I feel them in my narrow throat.

Things are still happening…

Here I am:
I heard you —
Shuffling on carpet,
coffee mugs clacking amicably...
I envied them.
I saw you —
Your light left on gave birth
to a shadow as you passed our room –
gliding, like a specter…

There you are:
You must have seen —
Bedside lamp switched on
(my light answering yours –
a lighthouse signaling a ship:
Don’t come any closer!
I miss you.
Come closer…)

You must have heard —
on my weak resolve to hide them

Things happen...

And I notice:
I don’t have any skin on my lips.
One fingernail is missing
(where did I put it?).
I am aware of
several missing vertebrae...
I name them specifically to myself —
C1, C2,
C5, C6, C7.
T6, T12..

A monastic chant.

Something will happen.
Something will happen.
Something will happen.

That is all I remember.

Except for the fact that
my eyes are now blue:
not the iris, but the sclera.
Arm span longer than height.
slipped an extra pill into
the 12 I take at night.
The pill that makes you small...
I hope.

I think of my old body
(the skin I used to wear)...
and how I never got to tell her


Kaitlin Kerr is a nurse, actress, model, and poet. She holds degrees in English Literature and Nursing. Much of her work grows out of the living with a rare chronic pain disorder and finding true meaning in art, beauty, and connection with others. Some of her recent work can be found in Pif magazine, Cathexis Northwest Press, Haunted Waters Press’ online showcase: SPLASH!, the Voices from the Attic anthology, and Goat Farm Poetry Society.


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