He stands next to me
Eyes staring, concerned and wide
It is the morning as the clock states
But the sun isn’t ready

But he does not know that
He only sees the dark
The sun is still too far away
And clocks are still mysterious

I get up, propped up by limbs
That are tangled in hair
I reach over, unsure
If I really seen him

“There’s a monster”
His voice is soft, unsure
“I’m scared”
And without a single advised word, he crawls in

I’m warmed, both by his need
And by the air he exhales
“Monster?” I ask
And he slips further down in my arms and blankets

“Monster in my room”
It is a fact, a fact of imagination
A fact of age and development
A fact of childish want that I indulge

He describes his enemy
A figure in black
With orange glowing eyes
Sharp teeth, waiting to snap into him
And claws to take him away

I understand his story
I understand his fear
I hold him close and tell him
“I have monsters too”

He squirms, not a worm
Nor a bug
He squirms to get inside of me
And be safe once more

He questions in the dark
I answer
“Me.” and “Yes.”

I ask him his monster’s name
He answers, “Steve”
He asks me mine
I answer “Failure”

He looks up
His blue colors swallowed by the darkness
His silence speaks for him
He doesn’t understand

“My monster’s name is failure
He bites with doubt
He claws with unruly criticism
He whispers that I am alone, my purpose is none”

“Sometimes we make mistakes”
He says
A voice a little stronger than before
“But, it’s okay…we can still love each other”

He continues
“I can hug you
So you don’t feel sad
Because mistakes are okay”

I answer
“Sometimes, we are scared just because
and it’s okay.
Because I’m here to hold you”

And in the morning
Still dark and cold and uneasy
He and I have found a place
That vanquished our fears

Even if it’s just for a while.

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