Poems from The Journey to Kailash X

/ Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 / 1 Comment »

No One

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I do not hear a tapping
beside me at the window.
I will not raise the shade.
I will not see eyes there,
silver with reflected moonlight,
the same eyes that flashed

outside the attic window
as I peered up the dark stairwell
three long nights ago.
What face could have those eyes?
It doesn’t matter, I tell myself.
I did not see them.

The scratching on the pane
I hear is just a branch
striking the glass.
There is no tree
next to my window,
but listen how the wind breathes —

it must have blown a branch down
from elsewhere in the yard.
The noise is relentless,
but tonight I’ll leave it be,
stay here in my pool of light,
with my bookshelves and papers

and the comforting sounds
of my fingers on the keys.
There is no need
to indulge this growing impulse
to reach out, tug the shade,
unlatch the sash.

There is no pale face
waiting in the dark.
No one is screaming.




            for Thomas Ligotti


“No One” first appeared in Dreams & Nightmares #62, 2002. Copyright © 2002 by Mike Allen. Reading by the author, © 2008. Art: Detail from “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” by Francisco de Goya, 1799.

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