The Creature Inside Me

Sometimes he’s lonely, the creature inside me, and lures me aside. Send everyone away. He wants to be alone so he can whisper dark stories about a useless, bent, and broken girl who keeps company with the creature inside her.

Sometimes he’s cold, the creature inside me, and builds a fire for warmth.
The smoke and heat burn my insides until hate pours from my eyes and mouth, splashing the innocents near me. It’s loathsome, but he must eat and I cannot face him, this creature inside me.

Sometimes he’s thirsty, the creature inside me, and milks my memories for water.
He digs and squeezes until I crack and drip salt and water and blood. It’s exhausting, but he must drink and I cannot rise to confront him, this creature inside me.

It’s crowded here, says the creature inside me, and bids me vacate me.
We argue that I must stay on and it is he who must leave, but the fight never ends. And the more he drinks and burns and hisses his stories, the more I forget whose house this is. It’s endless. But if you sleep we’ll both be free, whispers the creature inside me.

Now and again, when I’m still and rested, I forget he lies there waiting. I tear up the scripts he’s rehearsed before me and rewrite his words with dreams. I use them to build new worlds and vanquish lies.

He shrinks away to the closet. I jam it shut with the blade of my pen. Day floods in. And the me I sometimes only see in snapshots, spreads wild her arms in the wide sunlight.

Leaving the creature inside me, that trespasser/squatter, to grow lonely and hungry and thirsty and shrivel and wither and fade.

© Rachel Svendsen 2015

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