The Monster is always present, watching
By Helina Li
The Monster is always present, watching.
To live free, we forget Its shape, Its breath
over our bodies, down our skin, seething.
We forget what It is waiting for—death.
So we dance along Its gleaming red maw,
we walk our sisters home between Its teeth.
We bar our doors against Its savage claws,
we roam under Its Reaper’s scythe unsheathed.
Sometimes, It strikes. Sometimes, we remember.
Sometimes, we wield our pitchforks, we scar deep
and into the night we drive the Monster—
but It will return. So we learn to keep
in our right the key between our fingers,
in our left the gray spray can of pepper.