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I was a zygote then,
a coin in my mother's purse;
a fish swimming in the brine
of her sins. I was the tiny monster
growing inside her, always needing,
Then, swaddled in my disfigured armor,
I howled and squirmed. Priests
and soothsayers were summoned
with their incantations and blessings.
But the monster lived, consumed our lives
and became something other –
a manifestation of our fears.
On rainy nights when the roof leaked,
when the bills piled up, nights I lay in the hospital
waiting for X-rays or surgery
the monster's shadow stained the walls.
Sometimes I imagined he was a warden locking the doors.
Sometimes he was the doctors, with their tiny knives
and mouse black eyes. Sometimes I swear he was God.
Copyright 2016 Jason Irwin. From A Blister of Stars published by Low Ghost Press.