by Kimberly Ann Priest
I have thought about the monster—written him dark, sinister, sad.
Made his wounds larger than my own, then not visible.
Stolen his identity in poems where I suspect myself
capable of equitable shame. Equated my injury to the length and breadth
of his injury, then after prolonged investigation
and the reading of books to search his mental and physical states,
presumed that his suffering must be more exaggerated,
more real than my own and believably sustained.
The terror he endures day in and day out, shockwaves in the night
and the body lit up with cravings, desire folding its warm hand
around the abdomen and a pillow stuffed into my esophagus
so that I can’t let out a scream—same scream that vibrates my bones
at any time of day for any reason, still unnamed.
I lay my tired body against the cold damp earth,
let my wings grow heavy with dew, veins swelling like fingers
tempering flight. This comforts the monster: we are both
helpless now. See, I soothe into his sleek sullen face, god is not dead,
god is now dying—and god won’t arise to beat out their anger again.
Last updated November 14, 2022