Then –
suddenly awake, fibrous from
the slowly-kicked cold and
odd position of cat,
my still sleeping body –
twisted in ways of

Prone, on green sheets,
between the folds of 3:00 a.m. and
a light in the east – there, it
twinges, nightstick-deep
in the small of my back, a
sub-black, post-dream semaphoric

Is this it? DNA’s unfiltered mortality
peeling back my bliss?

When mercy usurps a selfish nature,
something has got to
blow – seismic in significance,
reluctant in the presence of change, in
ways of

Escape Clause

Scott Schuer