An Awful Story

When she came into his room he was asleep
and when she touched him, he woke—
her hand on his shoulder, her knee at his mouth,
and in the darkness, she looked like a boy.

When he tried to sit up she covered his ears
with her hands: “Save ourselves from ourselves,”
she said, and then a wind stirred in the room
as if she’d placed those words in his mouth.

Michael Collier, “An Awful Story” from The Ledge. Copyright © 2000 by Michael Collier. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Source: The Ledge (2000)
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