• Megan Quirk

night terrors with a side of honey

i wake up and peel last night’s disaster from the corners of my eyelids

in a bed gifted to one, home to two,

yesterday’s dried tears of forewarning color my cheeks—

but today i’m painted pink, not gray, and this shade already feels lighter on my face.

i reach for the indent in feather and blanket,

so fresh it reminds me to believe you won’t let me choke alone tonight, either.

i dress myself in visions of last night’s apocalypse wiped away by sunlit hands,

and float through the halls searching for you

like a canary in a coal mine looking for carbon monoxide;

but while i've always been known to chase the end,

you are a beginning.

i find you at the end of the hall,

fingers nestled within golden curls and careful carelessness,

and i know the bird will live another day.

your eyes light up, the way they always do

when i predict the end of the world and wake to see a new one the next morning,

so i touch you to prove to myself you won’t burn the way you did in my dreams.

and warmly, but not aflame, you say, “you’re up,”

you say “it’s a new day,” and i say “again.”

you smile, whistle the way i’ve never been able to,

and it reminds me to take a breath,

today the air is clear of cataclysm and carbon and full of you,

with your honey laughter and eyes warm like home;

for this morning, we are out of last night’s mines and into today’s uncertainty

where all i know is, soaked in carbon, beginning or end,

i would follow you singing.

Meet Megan here

Read Megan's Poetry here

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