The Eyes of God Were Watching

I was afraid to close my eyes,

scared He’d get me in bed—

my thin body covered

by a sheet with Peanuts characters.


Every night I’d scream, but no one

ever came, until I wondered

if I was making any noise at all—

my throat raw with disappointment.


God watched me for months—

eyes two pinpricks of light—glaring

down from the ceiling’s light fixture.


When I finally told him,

my father waited until dark,

turned out the lights,

and tracked the eyes to their source­—

a reflection cast by my nightlight.


Did my father fix it out of love?

Or was he worried God

would see what he was doing?


Avery Moselle Guess received a 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry. She’s a PhD student at USD and assistant editor for poetry at South Dakota Review. Recent publications include poems in Thrush, Rogue Agent, Glass, Rust + Moth, and Deaf Poets Society and creative non-fiction in Entropy and The Manifest-Station. Her chapbook, The Patient Admits, is forthcoming from dancing girl press in summer 2017, and her first full-length collection of poetry will be published in April 2019 by Black Lawrence Press.