Bedtime Story

Amy Grimm

Every night a man walks by my house and calls my name. If this were
a movie, his voice would sound like Spanish guitar and blue eyes and in

an hour and a half we would have a big wedding. But it’s only real life,
a street, a neighbor I don’t know, who named his dog Amy, and he says it
like a swear word

like an evangelist
like a drunk husband
like an out-of-work father
making a fist

and for a sleepy second I’m confused because I don’t know any men like
that and how strange to hear Amy! Bad Girl! outside my head, this far

from the typewriter. I wonder if there are other Amys on the street.
I hope one of them is not just learning to play herself like a toy piano,

or scared of her wallpaper in the dark and the tree outside her window
with hooks for hands, or in bed with a meteor shower she thinks is

the moon. Some night I will find her before you do, tie her in my yard
to a kite, and change her name to a lullaby. Then I’ll walk by your house

every night, and sing it.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
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ANGIE DECOLA grew up in Texas and now lives in North Carolina where she works as an editor and studies flamenco and African dance. A recent graduate of the MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro, her work is forthcoming in The Iowa Review.

Her poem “Bedtime Story” received The Greensboro Review’s 2004 Literary Award for poetry.