The Ghost the Night Becomes

by D. Antwan Stewart

Tonight the boy is lost,
his shadow the only companion
sharing moonlight along the stretch
of dirt road. Away from this boy
the road dusts and winds, and where
he travels, it collects flakes of him.
He wonders how he got to this place,
wonders how his body slips between brush
not wide enough to avoid the gnarled branches.
And one hand crosses to the other as if to soothe
the pain as one tree fallen in the forest
shoulders another. He walks deeper
into the mouth of this dark place, whimpering
as a child does, hands braced before him.
Beneath his feet, twigs bend and break
a trail behind him, and somewhere
some living thing will cock its ear and know
that in this forest a boy is lost, and the trail he is making,
some dead thing will cover it up.

D. ANTWAN STEWART received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers, where he was a James A. Michener fellow in poetry. He is author of the chapbooks The Terribly Beautiful and Sotto Voce. Other poems appear in Meridian, Callaloo, Bloom, Poet Lore, Seattle Review, DIAGRAM, and others.