It’s Like This
Jennifer Angelina Petro
I stand here. The monster
Stands there—in front of me
Mirroring my every move.
Separating us is a glass wall
Whisper thick and strong as hope.
Some days I barely think
Of the monster, yet I know it’s there–
I see it, out of the corner of my eye,
Doing everything I do.
There are days it pounds on the glass—
Howling, pacing, and somehow
Growing. Every morning
I reinforce the wall, look at the monster,
And stare it down.
Lately, I notice spiderwebbing cracks blooming
Over the wall. The monster presses
The glass, testing its solidity, smiling.
I assume it will hold. I assume it is
Strong enough. And then I blink and the monster’s hand
Passes through the wall as if it isn’t there.
I blink again and the monster is back
On the other side of the wall, blocked
From reaching me, or, at least, I assume.
Going about my life, dependent
On a wall whisper thick and strong as hope
Makes me feel, at times, like a sham, like
If it wasn’t for the wall the monster would be
All there is, like I am not as truly well
As I think I am.
The wall will not last forever,
The wall may need to be adjusted
In strength, and still I fear it will not last
And all the while the monster
Grows, waiting, watching, studying what I do.
If the wall finally gives way,
The monster will take hold of me, toss me to where
It once stood, build a wall of its own,
Scream-thick and strong as hell,
And it will go into my life, smiling,
Leaving me behind and to do everything
It does, but in slow motion, all the while I am turning
Into a memory of light snuffed out
By the dark.
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