THE DEVIL IS STANDING BETWEEN ME AND THE LIFE I WANT

I don’t believe in the devil but there the devil stands. In the doorway to the bathroom, in the doorway to the bedroom. The devil dwells in doorways because exits are the devil’s domain. One more step and the devil is in the bedroom. The devil could fall on the bed, and swell there like an organ.

The devil is here.

I feel it in my organs, and bloom with embarrassment.

The bouquet inside of me is already wilting. I know how this sounds. The devil buries his nose in it, and the action makes me weep because I’m not used to gestures of tenderness.

Every day brings a new tyranny.

I’m on my knees, just like the devil said.

When was the last time I was completely able to look myself in the eye? I could tell you the color, back then. I could skim my hand across my own body and not linger. I could leave a room without making eye contact.

Now I don’t look forward to anything. I just supplicate until I’m completely flat. Flat enough to slide under the door. And it doesn’t even feel like an exit.

The devil holds the thing I want. In the doorway. I tell myself there’s no malice in his gaze, but I know what kind of exchange this is.

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