If I leave out day one,
I might forget

to laugh, might fade out
too young. If I skip
my namesake, the end

might never come. Couldn’t sacrifice
anything in the middle. Inside there,
I howl—humor or horror—
I howl again.


She wants to scream
into another night she won’t enter—
let there be no more day ones,
let this fear dissolve 

with chalk on a sidewalk
in the rain
to keep this disease quiet
straight on till morning. 

So many conditions to be met
after dark. She pretends to be a stranger
when a drunken shadow approaches—
it’s the only thing left to do.