When I was a little girl, I had little anxiety attacks
When the dark was thick enough to hide my two little hands.
My knuckly fingers spread wide in front of my eyes,
It engulfed me.
And that was the scariest part of it all-
Knowing that the night could eat me up,
Swallow me whole,
And trick me and play little fluttery bug games.
I awoke one night,
I clutched my covers
And cried until my father heard me from down the hall.
I remembered nothing except for a dragonfly
Glowing in my closet.
I’ve run away from dragonflies ever since.
I spent 20 years in a cocoon, and I emerged
I fly to the light
And away from narrow alleys and empty parking lots,
Where the dragonflies are.
The places where there are
No covers to grab,
No father to cry for,
Only anyone who might hear.
Where the dark is thick enough to eat me alive and swallow me whole,
To rape me and strangle me in its saturation.
Where it’s dark enough for dragonflies to eat moths,
And no one will ever know.
About the Author
Writer & Editor
Shelby is a junior double major in Journalism and English, with a knack for anything and everything related to R&B heartthrob Drake.
When Shelby isn’t reading Tina Fey’s autobiography for success tips or doodling in her dream journal, she can be found competing for “most realistic fart noise out of a mouth” with her buds over at New & Improv’d or Maddy Night Live. She’s also involved in JMU’s only feminist literary journal, Sister Speak, and now kicks it with the brilliant folks at Reduced Pulp as a writer and editor.