A monster in a cage

Published by the Qutub Minar Review in Volume 3, Issue 1.

You can acquire it here.

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A monster in a cage

It’s like the bars are falling in; painted gold
melting against the heat of July’s sun.
Trapped inside is what I am, a phony poet
in a fake gold cage, a master of lies
painting with dry ink, a fraud behind crooked cursive lines.

I see myself, distorted in the naked flesh
of peeled down iron; tall, blonde, ill, dark
holes for eyes, beak for a nose, horns for ears
with a crown of washed-up ragged feathers.

Shoved behind the stained window in the path
of ruthless sun. My beastly eyes stare it down
until I can no longer. To hide, I cannot – I find
the monster in the window, reflected against my mind.
I look down at it, protruding pearly piranha teeth –
but it’s me who suffers with pity…

Like an idiot, scaring myself with my fears.
I’m ugly and hideous and weak, trapped and trampled,
humbled by heavens I fight myself and my hideousness
overcomes. I wish for a dark corner in which to weep
and cry and mourn. To hide from myself, but I’m trapped
in a melting iron cage

for the world to see; like an exotic beast
in captivity, I must face the beauty in myself.



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