I am the thing locked outside at night

Marisca Pichette

I am the thing locked outside at night

This nation has a secret
songs and books remember
in passive voice.

I am the banner
I am the bone

Doors locked, curtains
animals close, protected
when darkness falls.

I am in the soil
I am in the earth

I am not hiding. I am hidden
in the hearts of bronze statues
in logos in slang
in fast fashion
in history’s legends.

Suburbs succumb to night
close eyes and ears
but silence doesn’t fall.

I’m finished with falling.
I don’t trip
don’t stumble as I fill
with memory

I am the thing you fear
I am the land you stole

I am here.
I never left
And you?

You never forgot—
doors locked,
mouths shut.

When morning comes
you emerge and find me
here again.
Here still.

I’ll be waiting in every direction
you choose,
every lawn laid down
atop a grave.

I am the thing that never looks away
I am the thing that never forgets

I am the roar you won’t escape
a second time.


Marisca Pichette is an author of speculative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has been published and is forthcoming in Fireside, Apparition Lit, PseudoPod, Uncharted, and PodCastle, among others. Her debut novel, Broken, is forthcoming in August 2022 with Heroic Books. A lover of moss and monsters, she lives in Western Massachusetts.

Author’s Backstory: This is a poem about memory and willful forgetting. Its structure depends on short lines and sentences, forcing the reader to stop throughout and confront each statement. Repetition is intended to build momentum, pulling the reader to the chilling conclusion, and that single question: and you? 

This is a horror poem, but the form that horror takes comes down to the reader. How you read this poem depends on your identity and experience. Forget the narrator–the “I” of the work. What about you? What do you fear more: the past, or the future?

Image Credit: Abstract art to capture mood [wallpaperflare.com]

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One Response to I am the thing locked outside at night

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