There is a monster in Daniel’s house. But you cannot see it. Even if you try, even if you beg. It will not show itself. Not out of shyness, not out of mischief. Out of complacent rage: it has already won.

Daniel does not need to see the monster to know it lurks, sits, stands. Does not need to see the sunken eyes or broken jaw, does not need to meet it in the bathroom mirror when everyone sleeps. The monster does not need to crawl behind him when he dashes up the stairs. It will not frighten the dogs into midnight barking.

No, it’s not a monster in visions and bloodied walls, in moving chairs and misplaced bodiless moans.

The monster comes in the violent whims of broken communication, in the rage fits and the rising spleen; the altered humor and laughing tongue, the taste of murder toward someone that must be loved out of social obligation.

It comes in clenched lips, screams, and accusations. It comes in headaches, vomits, and dismembered bodies when Daniel goes to sleep.

It’s a murmur in Daniel’s lungs, nestled next to the quick-pumping artery. It’s a weight on Daniel’s left shoulder, straining his neck enough to blaze his already flaking mood. Like snow. Snow that falls on aching, sneeze-driven bodies.

Will he someday fear the monster that walks on four legs, that jumps on the roof and sticks to the wall, that throws ash in his food and sulfur in his family’s breath? Daniel does not fear its claws which bare bits of skin hanging from the tips, skin taken from his scalp; no cease to the itch.

Daniel does not fear its voice, a mixture of the entities inside hollow organs, how it can quickly imitate love, care, tenderness, only to transform into spiders walking on faces. Daniel does not need to fear its monstrous appearance to fear all that it is. Daniel does not need a nightmare when it lurks outside his eyes, with lullabies in dirty pillows and foreign stares in unpolished glass.

He does not fear it, it happens naturally.


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