Simmer

I looked in the dead of night
for the dead in the night
and found under the bed
the monster I knew was waiting
with slashing talons and fangs of rotted steel
wearing my face in stretched mask
slipping into my skin as his own
in ecstatic agony of form and function
They’re mine – those ghosts and revenants –
and I shoulder their disdain and the hate
as a burden to bear
one of them is you, still beautiful
still chanting a plainsong of love
though your eyes are cold and damning
The monster sees through my eyes
and through my soul
brute and miscreated miscreant
savage as some rabid fiend though I fight
to keep him at bay
It was easy when — in our brief time —
you banished him with a word
or a glance or a smile
He has many names, this degenerate demon
self-loathing, despair, doubt, anguish and rage
desperation and misery and wretched torment
He forces on me the blame for all eventualities
and seethes at the edge of my existence
in endless turbulent fury

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