My third National Poetry Month ekphrastic contribution in response to a painting by Marcel Herms.

03 Trying to keep the demons outside[20580]

Our Demons Outside

in the mirror
Our bones look for skin,

our skin for others to molest.
Cold objectivity makes those close

into strangers, while we work
to make those in the mirror strangers,

box them into academic, medical categories
Psychopath, sociopath, decry older terms

Monster, beast, demons, devils,
into those we can’t accept.

Easier to end her pain, pillow
over the face. Quell murderous thoughts

into absurdity, plain wrongness
eats away at sense, at the right thing.


It would be so easy to end it now
No. Shut up. I’m not listening to you.

How much do you think of her?
Wouldn’t it be better for her and you?

I don’t need to hear this.
Simply, take the unused pillow,

Her eyes are closed so she won’t know.
Just. Shut. Up. Go. Away.

I only want the best for you and her.
No. I imagine you in a box

I smash to smithereens. I will think
Only good thoughts. You’ve gone. For now.



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