monster on the outside

by mickharris

i wish i was a monster on the outside, too

not just inside where no one can see it

i wish i had fangs






to make you realize that i am

what i say i am



i’m not talking about being petty,

lying on my taxes

or judging women for their wardrobe choices

what i mean is something you just won’t believe

i sit perfectly still and close my eyes

and imagine what it feels like

to nuzzle into someone’s throat

and press teeth carefully against the jugular

and bite

then rip

and pull out

to see the spray



this moment can happen, and does, at the most innocuous and modern times

sitting in traffic, when someone cuts me off on the highway

in front of the woman who bumps me for the third time with her cart

the small child climbing into the freezer case at Trader Joe’s

that, i suppose, is civilization



but i dream about fire, and blood, and stretching limbs longer than my own

under the moon,

or maybe the baking sun

away from houses and rent and groceries and you,

yeah, even you.

sometimes, especially you



because you often want me to be something that i am not

something a little more human

and you don’t believe me when i say that it’s hard

not to be monstrous on the outside

not to have fur or scales or eyes that can’t see in the sunlight

or knobby claws or warts or stringy hair

or teeth that can sever your flesh like paper

or a tongue that is forked to better drink your blood.



we were the first

before you and your spears and rocks and fists

we were here.