Monster

Erica Abbott

(a Golden Shovel after Kaveh Akbar)

Cowered in the corner, a fire is smothered. Only darkness stays and everyone

turns away from the monster now lurking with its eyes that could devour. I

do not know how to capture something without imprisoning it. Love

will be no different when it arrives. I once trapped fireflies in jars and is

that not the same kind of evil disguised as innocence? We are all too

accustomed to this wonderment overtaking us. Each of us dons our modern

costumes and makes believe we are different people now. What can I do to

show you this is more than just a facade? Be it monster, be it ignorance, be

it anything more than who I was yesterday. In the end, everyone is caught

with blood dripping from their hands. It is too much—all of this grieving.

Erica Abbott (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based poet and writer whose work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, perhappened, Bandit Fiction, and other journals. She is the author of Self-Portrait as a Sinking Ship (Toho 2020), her debut poetry chapbook. She volunteers for Button Poetry and Mad Poets Society. Follow her on Instagram @poetry_erica and on Twitter @erica_abbott.