April 1972, in the loony bin
Dr. Eklund gives me pills
that don’t keep the devil from stalking me.
That don’t keep Lucifer out of my room at night
carrying a dead baby.
I try not to go to bed at all
but sit at the lounge table with others
mostly men with night terrors playing blackjack.
There’s also the lady who grew up in Duluth
making foghorn noises on the sofa.
I don’t mention
I went to Duluth when I was well
taking a train partway and a ferry the rest.
I don’t say I have a terror of the color red
or that Robby drew a picture
of how to use a coathanger.
I’m a spotted skunk
in somebody else’s backyard
my right front paw in the steel leghold
between darkness and morning.