Dylan Zucati

3 AM and the House is Empty

Have you ever been doing the dishes and held a knife in your hands for slightly longer than you needed to?

Have you ever been driving and wanted to close your eyes just to see what would happen?

Have you ever been somewhere really high up and felt yourself start to lean towards the edge?

These are just curiosities.

As long as they remain in your head, they can do you no harm.

The textbook definition calls them “Intrusive Thoughts”

There’s a textbook definition, everyone gets them and they’re perfectly normal


Have you ever thought something racist, homophobic, sexist, you-name-it - phobic

Of course you haven’t, you’re all good liberals

Of course you have, you’re all human

Floating somewhere in the back of your head is one of these little thoughts

Waiting for it to go unnoticed so it can slip back to the front of your mind

These are not curiosities

These are poison

The only thing you can do to poison

Is drain it

Slowly and painfully

Bottle it.

Categorize it

Memorize its labels so it can never hurt you again

Because the moment it infects your heart

It will do nothing but spread through those you love

Until you are left with nothing but hate


Have you ever thought about killing yourself?

Have you ever been lying in bed at 3 AM

felt something grab at the hollowness in your chest

Twisting your emptiness until it consumed you?

That is the working of the devil

You must not listen to the devil

For the moment you do he will begin talking

Softly at first, in a way that makes you forget the sound of your own voice

You see, this devil is no religious devil

He likes to go by his other names:

Common Sense, The Voice Of Reason


When the devil begins to whisper in your ear you must tell him no

You must tell him no as many times as you can

In as many different ways as you can

Tell him you’re beautiful

Tell him you have people who love you

Tell him you love yourself

Tell him these things so many times you start to believe them yourself


Keep fighting and never let the devil win

He’s playing a dirty game, but he’s playing it fair

This game won’t end until you close your eyes for good

When you shuffle off this mortal coil

That’s when he gets to check his boxes

Tally the results


I fought with the devil last night

It’s become our little nightly ritual

I stood in front of the mirror for a half hour

And refused to break eye contact

I knew that if I did

I might do something

And let the devil win


Keep fighting the devil

As long as there is air in your lungs

And fire in your blood

Never let him win

Never stop saying



Porcelain Fire Hydrant

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