It was sometime ago,
Before my life became a short story
Written by Gogol,
That I was afraid of the dark and
Would often sleep with the light on
And the television playing some
Black and white movie starring
Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney
Into the early hours of the morning,
So that snip-its of the dialog
Would drift eerily into my dreams.
Somehow, I have become Freddie Bartholomew
And Spencer is speaking to me:
“Wha you tink a dat, leetle feesh?”
I have come to understand
That the only way to fight fear
Is to whole heartily embrace it,
To make it your friend.
Now, I love the darkness, relish its peace
And wrap myself in it. Yes, I wear it
Like a new Brooks Brothers suit.
I spend the evenings sitting in the house
With every light extinguished
And emanating only darkness.
When I sleep the television is off
And it is quiet except for the dialog
In my dreams, spoken in the little boy voice
Of Freddie Bartholomew:
“Manuel, please, please don’t go!”