The Dread:
A Thermoelectric Duet

(For Edgar Allen Poe)

We stood like two icicles in the summer night, as though
Hoping for the moon's light to melt us back from a
State of suspended animation. But with our bodies
Shackled almost with a cement of fear which even Jonathan
Could not rival or produce, puzzled with disorganized
Thoughts unable to reach a synthesis of the happening
It had perceived, knees shaken with an involuntary horror
Spasm, eyes dazed as though hypnotized or iced and blinded
With confoundment, faces contorted more than that of a
Stutterer left dumb, hands trembling as though struck with
A palsy with fingers more fidgety than two gunslingers
Standing at a close distance, lips trembling as though
Enthralled in some ancient ritual prayer to the dead, we
Staggered toward the holy or unholy place as the four winds
Converged an smacked our faces, the grass tripped us, the
Branches and twigs smote violent blows and hindered and
Choked us and we perceived ourselves to be moving through
Some mad jungle when we finally converged at the spot just as
My eyes suddenly opened, straining under an intense ray of
Sunlight which had slipped through the half-drawn curtain
Before my bed.

—McArthur Gunter