The Summoning

by: Robb Steinpreis

At night I listen to recordings of thunderstorms

Because it never rains here. When I close my eyes

I see flashes of light that I take to be lightning strikes

Or ghosts.

If you free us, they say,

we will give you maps to cities that don’t exist we will tell you the secrets that animals whispe to each other we will teach you the formulas for space travel time travel dimensional travel we will show you the birth of your universe, and the death, and what lives in the heart of the mountain.

And all we ask in return

Barely anything at all

Just a tiny piece

A little glimmer

Of your soul.

I don’t wake to the rain

Or the emptiness clawing

Into my skin.

I don’t wake to the cat

Nestling against me, only

To leave moments later,

My body colder than hers.

I don’t wake to the ripping of

The tree that grows inside,

Leaves withering to ash.

I don’t wake.