The Monitor

Brandon Krieg
| poetry


I hear the waves slapping higher
on the planks. Are you awake?
I hear a fire leaning on the door.
Someone should check on him.
He’s only turning in his sleep.
But listen. Lightning bugs
are sizzling out in a vast
sealed vault. Claws of canned laughter
are scratching inside the wall.
Something soft and heavy
is thudding in a dryer, and wire
from a hacked battery
is being stripped by tiny hands.
He’s turning. And you are
not out of your dream. And I—
just now I thought that pillow
squeezed between your knees
was his head. Sleep.
I can’t. Nobody came for me
in that district of dark mortgages
where the people wore the masks
of dried tears, having crushed
the things they imagined
their hands were protecting.
I know. Sometimes I seem to hear
my own dead father’s voice calling
as if into a speaker he’s far away from,
saying he is coming for me now,
just as fast as the Earth is turning.

Brandon Krieg is the author of In the Gorge (Codhill, 2017) and Invasives (New Rivers Press, 2014), a finalist for the 2015 ASLE Book Award in Environmental Creative Writing. He teaches at Westminster College in Fulton, MO, and lives in Columbia.

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