The Devil You Know
A familiar shadow
follows you room to room
dark from keeping
Like a dog
that won’t stop barking.
A dog that growls even in its sleep.
But only you seem to notice this best friend.
There’s no escaping that kind
of loyalty. You locked every door.
Museum of Night and Day
Life isn’t meant to be lived
in silence, looking only
straight ahead, squinting
to read the fine print
of exhibit descriptions.
Or so said the painter a little too tightly
wound up in his latest canvas.
Then, with no warning and using just his teeth,
he sent brushes flying out a nearby window.
None of us made a sound.
Brian Beatty’s poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Bark, Conduit, Dark Mountain (England), The Evergreen Review, Forklift Ohio, Gigantic, The Glasgow Review of Books (Scotland), Great Walks(Australia), Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, Midwestern Gothic, The Moth (Ireland), Opium, Paper Darts, Phoebe, Poetry City USA, The Quarterly, RHINO, Seventeen, Southern Poetry Review, Sycamore Review and Word Riot.
Beatty is the author of the collections Coyotes I Couldn’t See (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016) and Brazil, Indiana (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, forthcoming). He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.