Some nights you need to take off your skin
and slip inside the shadow on the bedroom wall
beside the fist-sized hole that ugliness punched in.
Some nights you need to put a cap on the meds
and slow dance with the dead girl you loved
while wearing the shadow suit with shined shoes.
The Seroquel isn’t going anywhere tonight
and the dead girl has a dentist appointment
in the morning and really needs to get to bed.
Some nights when “A Whiter Shade of Pale” plays
on a radio in another state, you sense it in your bones,
rattling like tuning forks, sensitive without skin.
Outside, the neighbors’ sprinklers switch on
and the dead girl leaves. You never asked to be
here but you never turned away, and when Mike
passes you the plate, you smile and say thank you.
Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife and kids. His books include Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press), After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press) Hangover Breakfasts (Bottle of Smoke Press in 2012), Some Sort of Ugly (Marginalia Publishing in 2013), and My Next Bad Decision (Artistically Declined Press, 2014) and Almost Christmas (Redneck Press, 2017). A novella titled Fly Like the Seagull will be published by Luchador Press in 2020. Graziano writes a baseball column for Dirty Water Media in Boston. For more information, visit his website: www.nathangraziano.com.