they come to you at midnight
awake, in the pale orange of october clouds,
and as you were not in your bed
alone, as you often are
the terrible chill of autumn
slid under your skin like a fish knife
cut beneath your scales and gills with
an anger not unknown to you.
it is not unknown, but you simply
failed to listen, it was always there, this possibility:
the sudden startled realization
that you erred in some unforgivable way
the strange and ancient arrival of a foreign moon,
black crust and sullen, sunken eyes.
you would let them flay you open
simply because living and knowing would be worse.
your hatred of them is not the same
as their hatred: which is a thing with eyes and ears.
yours is blind, deaf, flickers in the night,
bows only to blood and instinct;
it does not know to be afraid of the dark,
it does not know kindness;
their hatred is slippery, wild, and bites into you
by morning, you are gone
Norah Brady is an 18-year-old moon enthusiast writing about conspiracy, climate change anxiety, and mountains. She was a runner-up for Youth Poet Laureate of Boston and has received two Gold Keys and a Silver Key from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her poetry and short fiction works can be found in Rookie, The Ekphrastic Review, Blue Marble Review and the collection Writers on Earth: New Visions for Our Planet.