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Two A.M. Trilogy
by Lori Williams

T-shirt wet with New York summer,
I woke after the first one,
had a cigarette and watched my father's
smile fading in the smoke. They never stay.
In the dream, he wept.

The second found me on the floor,
hair washed in fear, body twisted
around pillow, breath, little gasps.
Frantic. Eyes clamped shut.
I knew the dark. Its cloying black
made my bones ache.

By the third I lay naked,
breasts clammy, pillow gone.
After twenty years I heard
my mother's voice, her footfalls,
smelled her perfume.
I think the dark was teasing
because I don't remember why she came.

Stupid sad girl. No peace even in slumber.
I put the A/C on and stared
at the ceiling until dawn,
making shapes in the peeling paint.

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