Medicine and the Arts
“An Incantation for the Small Hours of the Night” is printed with the permission of the author.
Anne Farmakidis, senior editor of Academic Medicine, is the editor of “Medicine and the Arts.” (Unsolicited submissions are welcome.)
Unspeakable some thing is stalking me
silent in its approach.
Indifferent some thing has me in its sights
is circling (no malice, just menace)
Incomprehensible some thing is there
in the darkness beside me
its presence within sound of my scampering
heartbeat, labored breathing, stifled whimpers.
Inescapable some thing has gained entry now.
Terror is all I am; my former human
being is usurped. I am the trapped but conscious
animal, the threatened insect, the doomed
(it matters not what kind of) creature
who here awaits one final blow.
I live with these unannounced arrivals
of an alien occupant of my mortal form
so Gods, let me bless and cherish every moment
of its absence to arm myself with consciousness
that every earthly darkness has given way to light, thus far.