Creature from the Radiator

He slept alone,
the first time in fifteen years,
a studio apartment.
It took some getting used to,
no house, no yard,
no family.

Across the room
he heard the radiator
crunching and eating
in the spaces of the dark.

It was a skeleton song,
a song of broken limbs
keeping him up,
though he knew it was only
condensing in the pipes.

Earplugs couldn’t silence
the chorus of snapping ribs,
the hammering of tibias, the cracking
of femurs,
the fracturing of a body.

He imagined the creature
eating the apartment, eating
the bed, eating right through
him until
remained, not even his bones.

It seemed to him
the creature
was the way of things,
of marriage, of people,
of life,
and it could swallow

He listened and waited
for that deep empty,
for his boneless ghost to come.