Eric Stiefel

All Night I I I I

after Alejandra Pizarnik 

All night I make night in me.  I fugue.  
Water howls violently outside,

a ribbon patterned from the sound of 
someone sobbing 
                           in the memory of 
some halo, bitter bright, shrapnel of grief. 

All night I spill questions.  Death 
breathes a nest of smoke through the nostrils
of its wolf mask— tapetum lucidum

leering out until night opens in me.
I lurch forward at its looking.

Eric Stiefel is a poet and critic living in Athens, Ohio with his dog, Violet. He teaches at Ohio University, where he is pursuing a PhD. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Apple Valley Review, Prism Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tupelo Quarterly, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere.