House by the Road

by Kristina Bicher

Our mother told us that if the headlights
which, nightly, swept the blackened
bedroom walls, were to halt, to stall
and hover above your pillow, throw their halos
over your head, your bed, you would be taken
in your sleep that night,
you would not wake again.
And dark shapes fell from the velvet
of the open closet and dark swells pulsed
the seams around the doors and the deep well
under the bed lapped the coverlet hem
and we lay still: quiet and small.
As a child at night in bed, there was only
the heat of brown bats beating, the ring of heels
receding down the hall, the prayer of legs
under the sheet, and the tangled animal
of one’s own heart.

KRISTINA BICHER’s poems have appeared or will appear in Painted Bride Quarterly, Narrative and Barrow Street among others and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic and The Rumpus.  Her chapbook, Just Now Alive (Finishing Line Press, 2014) was a finalist in the New Women’s Voices Series. She received a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.