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Night Music
The doorjamb we peep through      seep through
       There, a corridor adorned with bloody runner
We hear her tiptoe through hells            teeth-baring halls
Pull out the tongue!                                                             Decrescendo

            Little Read Writing Hood takes off her ears and slips under
            a book cover. So amazed is she to see how granny appears
            in nightwear.
On a hanger hung her hood and on a hook her head
Strangled utterance
“All the better to hug you with, my dear.”

Our ear against the pillared wall
                                     pillowed well
                                                cheeks, heartless red
One stroke two           we are dead

Though Death it could not be, for she stood up
And walked among the Fiends

Once upon a night, she landed
On an airstrip of impotence     Whoosh!
Snaking tongue ’round her throat
Suffocating sound
Dingdong       down that endless chase
Doors        of coarse
Wood        locked
Though one ajar
Through blighted light     helical vortex

            Poor Little Writing Hood knows the perils of speaking to hobgoblins
            who populate her sleep while in her throat she chokes on sticky ghee.
            Upon the transfer of that song, wicked wolf took the shortest dream
            to granny’s unthatched home.
Arrived by the time she closed her lids
It was a Rural Gothic
All shades assembled
Nine windows no doors
“Enter through the dome home,” dripped out the mouth hole.

           Our ear against an icicled stream
                                                    Dangling earring
                                          A hum                    secret mirror missives

She is afraid to own a body; it possesses the darkly night
Sunflower root        assailant of snails
Her marble feet freeze
                                    Haunting form
                          Voices vaunt
Between the hours of life and death
Next-door neighbors knock on the floor.
She is afraid to own a soul.
Someone else should keep it, protect it, love it better than she,
Share it in the light.

Neighbors: Dorothea Tanning’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Emily Dickinson; Christina Rossetti; Barbara Guest.

Martine Bellen’s most recent collection of poetry is This Amazing Cage of Light: New and Selected Poems (Spuyten Duyvil). She is a librettist of Moon in the Mirror (colibrettist Zhang Er, composer Stephen Dembski), which will be performed during the Chinese New Year at Cleveland State University.