April is National Poetry Month, and I wanted to share this piece with everyone. It is far from a cheerful springtime verse, but I encourage all of you to find creative inspiration in the dark places as well as the light:
He intercepts the blood flow with careful, gradual steps.
He seeps into the bloodstream,
Finds his way into the ribcage to wait and watch in safety.
He holds the heart between cold hands and demands the body speak for him.
"But don't worry," he says, climbing the chest wall on his rib ladder,
Up the larynx, the throat, and into the mouth.
From there he can make short, easy trips to the brain
to light up a cigarette, maybe a fire, too, filling the entire cavity with smoke and fumes.
So often does he invade like a disease,
The count of blackened bodies stacking up—
charred remnants under the terrified sun.
"Him," copyright 2019 Amelia Cotter (Second Place, Monsters Category by Adult Non-Resident, Highland Park Poetry’s 2018 Poetry Challenge and Chapbook)