Before the Dark Reposes by John C. Mannone

Before the Dark Reposes
John C. Mannone

            After The Coming of Light by Mark Strand

Even this early, just before the dawn,
before the light can burn away hatred,
when sleep hangs in sticky air as flies,

demons in candle flame drip, materialize,
harden as gargoyles in wax marking dark
impressions on my ethereal soul. Refusing
to disperse, their nightmares seep through

the pores of gravestones to haunt my flesh,
eclipse the light inside me, even this early,
just before the dawn.

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