The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University

I was wordless,
scratching at the passing of days
with crude gashes in the floorboards.

The monster came out from the jungle—
white hot fury. Cranium fluid
on his boots. Charred flesh on his hands.
After three thousand washings
—godless baptismals—the odor remained.

He entered a hotel’s killing room—
four walls that housed weapons
disguised as objects:

walls were for repeated head bashings
the curtains, nooses
windowsill, a jaw breaker
the writing table, a torture bed
the wash bin, a drowning hole

He stepped out of my body
like a man removing a pair of trousers
with a sigh of relief, ready to let go of life.
Bruised body bedded terror,
waking with tongue lodged in the throat.

He moved every few days; a different
set of walls, housing
the same set of weapons.

The artifacts
of the civilized world, reinterpreted
through his distorted lens.