In my dream, the flower petals open,
And wail – a million hungry cats
All clamoring for attention.
A ghost slams the door open to wake me
And I clutch my Teddy,
Murmuring half-words in his raggedy ear,
"Nothing bad…"
But I hear the anger whistle through the walls.
Barreling toward us, unrelenting.
Then you're lifting us up,
Clutching us, with green fire in your eyes.
Your fingers digging tattoos in my skin.
"It's okay."
"Don't be scared."
We scurry into the ground
Like worms or tiny mice,
Feeling the lure of clouds as we burrow.

The trains fly in circles above our heads,
Roaring their power.
Hungry vultures, like the ones that came for Cleo,
With empty eyes and tabby fur plastered on their beaks.
You held me tight,
And I put my fingers in Teddy's ears.
"Don't listen."
But I hear them clawing at the ceiling,
And fury seeping through the planks.

There it is.
One of the little monsters I wish Noah had forgotten.
Dancing toward us on a tight-rope.
I feel its eight tiny eyes reaching inside me
And sucking me dry.
It inches closer and closer,
Clicking our lives away.

It reaches my nose,
And then it drops.
My shriek echoes in the tiny womb we curl in.
But it lies there still,
Legs curled up like dying leaves.

And the world is quiet.