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She goes into a room in her mind, and pulls down the shade

The night takes shapes, this one a lion
this one a ghost

summers in Minnesota we rode our bikes
around the block
we rode the block
again and again and again

with wind, with sun, with children
thoughts of death
why am I thinking this?
we counted to one hundred

The night proposes a solution

the houses were known, the people inside
we knew
at the house across the street
there was a garage sale

The night shows me a cabinet
I know what they look like, the bottles
how they feel
how they pull me out

my sister's friend and I are walking up the driveway
we skirt the table edges, clasping trinkets
I want this one, no, this one
shirts waving, late summer night
books, pages flipping
and I see it, a blue bracelet

The night shows me my own face

I slip it on
we whisper laughter and
hear someone coming
let's hide in here, she says

The night shows me the dark dark dark
the inside of a cabinet, where we pull the door shut
sit in silence, waiting
what are we waiting for?

What are you doing!
She's yelling, get out! go home!
and we run, we run down the driveway, across the street
to our houses
we are next door neighbors
don't tell, she says

but she doesn't know I would never tell
why would I tell
and prove to my parents, to my sister
that I am what we fear


The night leads me to bottles, bottles promise things
I want to believe them
a gnawing says I need to

the backyard of our house on lion lane
is an ocean
my parents are shadows in the kitchen light
a bird circles far away
I see the bracelet still on my wrist
a sky grows dark and a bird is lost against it
a pain in my chest so tight I scream

The night is long, and every night is just as long, and every night is just as long

my parents are holding me
my sister's hand on my hand

abbi, they say, abbi
it's okay, it's okay

The night is here, still here
and she is still in me


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