In the dark of the night

Anusha Parthasarathy


When I was little, maybe nine or ten,

The stories I heard, of monsters in the den.

Often left me awake at night, afraid of the dark

Afraid of the night.


But now it isn’t the dark I fear,

As I lay awake, and draw my dog near.

But what sleep brings, in all its pale white,

Women of red eyes, hags touching me, pointing towards a light.


What were these witches, and ghosts that stayed,

As I lay unmoving, between night and day?

My hands and legs and even my eyes were glued,

As I kicked and pleaded in my head, until I moved.


For many years, this fear didn’t go,

Along with the hags and ghouls, my mind often strayed so,

Was I crazy? Or are they just dreams?

But the only answer I had were my silent screams.


One day I discovered my plight,

A paralysis that last seconds, just slight.

The body shuts down at night,

And shadows take shapes, come to life.


Breathe deeply, take longer exhales,

And your limbs will spring to life, the ghosts will pale.

So I did, and they did go.

Farther and farther, until one day, they came no more.


Now and then, on a long journey or aboard a train,

When I nap, my limbs go cold and I start to strain.

But before the ghosts could come back, cause me pain,

I breathe deeply. I breathe again.


Anusha Parthasarathy is many things rolled into one curious human being. She’s a journalist, writer, poet, traveller, dog momma, feminist, environment lover and experimental chef and spends most of her time inside her secret laboratory. She lives in Los Angeles, California and is out seeking her next adventure.