how to meet the hat man

sleep fitfully on the sofa
your back to to door

plagued by dreams of moths
in a house of illness

sleep until his deep voice wakes you
and you cannot move.

“excuse me, ma’am?”

his tall frame curls into the corner
his neck cranes, hat scrapes the ceiling

no light reflects from his face or hands
featureless as a shadow

he watches though the night
and you cannot move.

“i’ll be right here if you need anything.”

when i was a skeleton

i had not the foresight
to fashion a skin for myself
from discarded trash and tarps

the ache whistled through my ribs

my bones dried in the winter air
withering once whitehot marrow
into frozen despair

cold medicine blues

the dogbody of midnight
sweeps past
my ankles

i wake
on the