everything dark, wet from recent rain,
lights too far away or just reflections in the damp pavement;
buildings empty hulks, yet somehow watching,
A car pulls up to the curb--
a late 40's or early 50s model,
black, maybe a Buick or a Hudson,
and though well out of date, shiny as a snake.
A woman in red dress steps out of the passenger side--
she's vaguely Hispanic,
wearing pearls and heels.
her cheekbones are high, she's almost pretty, but cold,
pretending to be helpful. A man sits in silent shadow behind the wheel.
"Are you lost?" she asks me. Yes. The curb feels like a cliff.
"Get in," she says, gesturing toward the car.
I don't want to.
It feels like a shark's mouth, a precipice, no good end in there,
and yet, I am lost and by myself,
in this strange city at night.
Sometimes I get in, and then it gets much worse--
they drive me to a doctor, a doctor who is not human,
whose treatments are misery, and who cures nothing.
Other times, I have some sense of a memory warning me
not to go with them, and I refuse.
My temporary escape is no joyful thing, but rather,
a stay of execution to be taken up on another night.
Not really a poem, but an accurate description of a recurring nightmare I had as a child.
For Bjorn's "nightmare" mini-challenge at Real Toads.