Three Dark Poems by Robert Beveridge


In my nightmare, in the hallway,
there's a door. It is large,
wooden, locked.

There are keys. In the basement.
It is dark. The light's burnt out.
I cannot leave the hall.

Silence. Ghosts touch my shoulder.
Stillness. A hole
in the carpet.

The door. I watch it.
Wait for it to move.
It doesn't. 

In the Field After Dark

The heart
was in Bobby's jacket pocket
as he played ball
with his friends.

they've all gone home,
and Bobby, walking
from the field,
feels for the heart

it's gone
he turns, scampers
in sunset back
to the field, looking
for the heart

no luck,
and the sun's almost
he'll never find it now

he looks up
above a patch
of tall grass
barely five feet away

a pare of garnets
stare unblinking at him

he knows
just knows
the heart
is underneath them

he walks over,
looks up:
he thinks
he's seen those eyes before. 

	You're old miss Solebury, aren't you?

The eyes bob slowly.

	Do you want me
	to have your heart?


He picks up the heart,
turns, walks
toward home.
All the way,
he feels a chill
on his shoulder,
as if a hand
were draped there.

That night, instead
of putting the heart
under his pillow as usual,
he clutches it tight
as he sleeps, smiling.

Is that a red gleam at the window?

Not Our Brother

“The demon,”
she said,
as she caressed my chest
with four-inch nails
as if she wanted
to even out the fertile furrows
she'd left before,
“we call him 'not our brother',
for he comes
in the form of woman
and steals the souls
of our men
leaves them hollow husks
who take no pride
in the fields they till.”

My plane, a week
from then, flashed
through my mind.
“Not our brother.”

She pulled me tighter to her
asked with an embrace
for the warmth
of a soul
however temporary.

“I must go back,” I said.

“I know,” she said.
“But for now
just hold me, brother,
love me
so your memory
can keep me warm.” 

I thought of her husband
dead these four months
victim of the demon
the death certificate read.

Not our brother.

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in cattails, Ellipsis…, and Ample Remains, among others.

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