The night crawlers

Samia Islam

It is only at night that they
come out
move around
slow-measured and ape-like
all hands and feet
sometimes they bare yellowish teeth
poised on the dresser or the night stand
at precarious angles
they nod their heads at my restless body
I can feel them smiling in the darkness
scratching shiftless chins
all the while humming en masse
like a refrigerator’s low drone

as the night wears on, the hubbub crescendos

until I fold,
and—sitting up—turn the lights on to reach for the pen