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Night Watchman

The Brain has Corridors”
—Emily Dickinson

In a morgue of a city so large
I’ve never seen the end of it,
Or heard of anyone who did,
I make my rounds with a set of keys,
A flashlight and a black dog
Who’s not allowed to be here,

But who knows not to bark
When the meat wagon comes,
And they wheel in their load,
Shutting doors to conceal
Their spooked, half-lit faces,
As they bend over the cadaver
On some business, leaving us

Once again in the dark, listening
To the soft hum of the refrigerators
As we prepare to resume our tour
Of padlocks, keyholes, empty offices
Where dusty files lie unopened
On small metal desks with squeaky chairs.

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