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I was the monster’s woman,

And I was the plate of sympathy.

Years I obeyed, but sometimes interceded.

I ate no children, crushed

No bones, lured no one to

An unwisely scintillating end.

Except maybe one.

One I might have mistakenly peeled

And broken like a stray glass eye,

When all I wanted was merely to hammer him

And bring out the ring of restless iron.

I was not careful. In intent, no evil

Was injected, no malice prepared.

I thought I was acting out

Of considered application, and

As judiciously as an empty aquarium.

I underestimated myself.

I was the god awful ringing,

The tempest screaming in the Iron Maiden.

But I stayed with my accidental victim until

He at last casually dissolved, and kissed my shadow

One untroubled time, knowing the love

Of the indentured: jutting forth

His wounded, partitioned face

With that horrid drooling entry of

A rightfully demanding mouth,

Lips meeting mine like house pests

Stuck to the sweet of a counter top.

The monster never knew.




Ken Poyner lives in the lower right hand corner of Virginia, with his power-lifter wife and a number of house animals. His 2013 e-book, “Constant Animals”, unruly fictions, is available at all the usual e-book sites; buy it, and feel good about saving jobs in the brewing industry. Recent work is out in Corium, Analog Science Fiction, Spittoon, Poet Lore, Mobius and many other places. He webs at www.kpoyner.com, where you can find links to purchase his book, more work, and stunning pictures of his wife lifting.

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