Good Night

by Laura Mahr

Occulophobia:
The fear of nightfall.
Edison. Prometheus. Lucifer.
Saviors. Lightbulbs. Reedy fire.
Those who convert, invert
With steady hands.
Sleep: the fear of being
Awake. Finger,
Switch. The death
Of artificial day. But when
You lie cool-sheeted
With the new buzzing darkness
Pressing your unadjusted eyes
(Infantly autistic, maybe crying),
You see a square. You stare.
It hovers orange-bright. It does not
Blink, as you must, nor vanish
When you close your eyes.
A neighbor’s lit-up window
Through your black and unseen pane.
Pain, homynym: the thing
You are afraid to call by name.


Laura Mahr is a philosophy major at Amherst College. This is her first publication.