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i killed the monster

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you half-wake
as morning’s light licks your eyelids.
“i killed the monster ” you say.
“i killed the monster.”

fully awake you explain your dream—
the monster chasing you—
its bleeding eyes—
fleeing up the fire escape—
it follows—
you warn it—
you say “i don’t want to hurt you!”—
it comes—
you rip it to pieces with your hands
and douse the remains with petrol.

we consider the meaning of it all over
eggs and english muffins at
the kitchen counter.
you think the monster is your fear
and self-doubt.
“i killed the monster,” you say.
“i killed the monster.”
i see tears.

my monster takes form
something the size of a ripe cantaloupe
teeming with hair
vast tufts and plumes
rendering the being beneath
masked.
hidden.

it scurries towards me
(what, little legs beneath the pelt-)
and leaps.
i open my mouth,
my tongue searching for words to save me,
and then it’s inside,
clamping down on my tongue,
heaving hard against the roof of my mouth.
a flood of fluff fills my sinuses until
clumps creep out my nostrils.

i try to breathe, and suck the creature deeper,
until my lungs are brimming with
heavy wet hair
and the monster is lodged in my throat so tight
i hear my larynx crack.

every time you look at me
with narrowed eyes
the monster leaps inside
and what finally stumbles from my blueing lips
sounds nothing like the sense in my head,
in my heart.
battle-worn from pushing past
the monster’s crowding tangles
the words emerge fuzzy
and half-formed,
dizzy,
ready to lay down and give up
as soon as they are uttered.

you hate my monster
as much as i do.
i think you can see it
filling up my head and lungs,
wrapping its hairy tendrils
around my heart, squeezing tight,
cutting like wire through clay.
it gets in there, and soon
my heart is pumping
my veins full
of the creature’s unending mane.
it is in me.
it is me.

you see it.
reach out.
hands open,
then close
tight.

“i killed the monster,” you say.
“i killed the monster!”

yes.

Comments (2)

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I like the twist at the end, the casual attitude in the beginning, the idea that dreams affect us all. There are a couple of spots where less would be better i.e. "fully awake, you explain your dream" I would prefer to guess where the monster...

I like the twist at the end, the casual attitude in the beginning, the idea that dreams affect us all. There are a couple of spots where less would be better i.e. "fully awake, you explain your dream" I would prefer to guess where the monster came from... although it is pretty apparent what is about to be discussed. Give your audience some credit... not just answers. Overall I liked this piece it just took me a few reads to cut out the extra and find the intensity

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

In the fourth stanza I see a transition to first person that leaves me guessing as to whether you are writing about the same monster, or each of the two people in the poem have their own monster. In this case don't give the reader any credit at...

In the fourth stanza I see a transition to first person that leaves me guessing as to whether you are writing about the same monster, or each of the two people in the poem have their own monster. In this case don't give the reader any credit at all. If you have a chance please elaborate.

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