monster elegy 

all the doors in our house 
cracked open like eggs.
mice from the fields 
arrived to the basement
with handfuls of salt. 
what do you gift a monster
as it becomes nothing more
than shadow? their deaths
are not like ours. or, maybe,
i presume too much about souls.
the monster used to wake me up
by dropping bells on my chest.
making my phone ring 
over & over. would write
"emergency" on the fogged glas
of the bathroom mirrors. 
i learned to shower with
the curtain open. a monster
is eager to be a metaphor
but i wouldn't allow mine.
my illnesses were balls
of yarn & barbed candles.
the monster was the monster
& nothing more. i never saw him 
but then again neither did anyone else.
my secret is 
i was feeding him. brought turkey bones
& canned peas & notebook pages.
he swallowed them all.
reached claws under
every doorway in an attempt
to graze my ankles. the monster
loved me like pollen loves bee legs.
who else here was going
to feed his fear organs?
& then i loved him.
he kept me searching every corner.
kept me alive with worry. 
gave the windows reason to wilt.
once, i could swear he held me 
in the dark of night.
outside it was snowing 
in clumps of nowhere.
i blinked. felt his arms.
became a stone & went back to sleep.
now he is gone. crows come 
to the porch, each leaving
one ear of corn. stray cats form a circle
& walk fifty-two times around the house
until his spirit is snuffed out.
the basement won't hold a single shadow now.
the monster is gone. the mice 
take his bones with him
& leave me with only 
a single jagged tooth.

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