Carrie Fountain – It’s Nothing


Carrie Fountain
It’s Nothing

It’s not the instantaneous disappearance
of the mailman after he dumps the mail
into the box. It’s not the smoke detector’s
wide, dead eye. It’s not this weird pain
in my shoulder. I don’t think it’s something
that can be caused by sleeping in the wrong
position. Nor is it the man in my dream
last night, the stranger wearing a ball cap
who followed me through the department
store of my youth, the store downtown
called The Popular where my grandmother
bought her impeccable slacks, creased like
extreme sanity. Every time I looked, the man
was closer. I woke after I realized, in the dream,
that there was no use trying to evade him.
He’d catch me eventually. It wouldn’t matter
if we were in the shoe department or in
housewares. But oh how slowly he was
catching me. I woke at 4 am and stayed
awake. Every time I look out the window
it’s brighter out there, though I can hardly
believe time is passing at all.