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Night Sweat

By Marc Swan


Three in the morning,
AC howling like a banshee dancing
on a wire. I shut it down
with a punch of the button.
From across the street raucous laughter,
hard rock music fills the room.
I drift back with ear plugs intact.
Before I can reach that deep place
I crave I swirl like a sour wind
back to Binghamton
to a room cloaked in fear,
shutters drawn, scent of engine
oil and cooking grease
fills the air.
I walk as quietly as fourteen-year-old legs
will allow into the bedroom
to the dresser drawer
with his .38, her .25 derringer inside
when I realize I am the only one there.
It’s from the outside, this fear thing,
holding steady as I check
the cylinder for six,
chamber for two, place
one in my pocket,
tuck the other in my waist band.
I’m not sure what to do
then realize—ammo.
He always said be sure you have enough ammo.
I search through drawers,
on shelves, in the basement damp with mold,
into the attic where dreams lived
when I was growing old.



About Author:

OjaiMarc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor. His poems have recently been published or forthcoming in Mojave River Review, The Chaffin Journal, Midwest Quarterly, Gargoyle, The Nashwaak Review, among others. He lives with his wife Dd in Portland Maine.


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