Poem: The Monster

By: Janna Vought


A memory, caught,
mounted for permanent display.
Move the stone! Roll it away!
Dark silence was the feeling, oily
a place where days and nights
blend, life and death become
one. I peer
through the broken window,
silent. Clusters of flies accumulate
on the screen. Count frozen minutes
on a broken clock.

(hold still barely breathe)

I can’t stop

He has no name, (so strong and fast)
arrived from Nowhere, USA
wears a goatee, worships
Charles Manson,
Green River Killer,
Jack the Ripper.
He tires of being ignored,
waiting for his phone to ring, climbing
the walls inside his lair, necrotic,
littered with fat mugs of soured milk, dead rats,
chicken bones. To any whore who speaks
louder than a whisper from her dark
dirty mouth he sneers, “Don’t!
Don’t you ever
raise your voice to me.”
Restless, he emerges from his hive,
waits at bus stops and in the woods
after sunset. Time to troll
for his next prey.

He must be very close,
the signs so clear.
Shadowless, silent, hidden
by maple trees, crush of muddy footprints
left in pristine snow.
Deadly as he is hypnotic,
the swift raven’s iridescent ebony body
glides closer, lured to its supper.
Welcome to the Killing Fields.

She still sleeps
with a nightlight in a house of cold burning
alone with a single light. (hear his voices whisper)
She lifts an eye. I (suddenly) realize she sees him,
smells his curdled sweat.
Press my sternum to the ground—
hide. She struggles.
He tosses her back on the bed
like a sack of wet clothing.

Pummels her
like a pugilist

on her floral fitted sheet.
She doesn’t scream; she knows
better. Black bodies writhe
in darkness. He grabs her
favorite pink pillow,
smothers her in the soft
darkening fabric.
She tries to raise herself,
breathe once more.
Exhausted eyes close,
sluggish breath collapses
lungs, brain bursts into blood.
Fade to bluer shades of grey; blood pools
beneath her.
Touched by a stranger
black winged (hear them
flap and flutter) and naked.

Swallowed alive—devoured.

Aftermath: lifts his girl
into a black plastic sarcophagus, (still warm stiff body)
traces a crimson cross on her forehead
with a blood-dipped talon,
picks at her face, loose
strips of skin, rotting
Dig a shallow grave
for the dead girl.
You needn’t fear
him now. Rest beneath a blanket
of damp forest debris,
facedown in dirt. Dead. Dead.
Absolve her sins:
Holy Spirit.

Enormous cocoon of the corpse
begins to stir. I can’t wake
from this dream. Everything is slow—heavy.
She stares at me through the window,
milky eye glazed, gone now, separate
from ones she loves, and I realize, the one
I’m looking at…is me.


Categories: Poetry

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