James Reitter

No More Room for Monsters

I once had monsters living under my bed,
deranged creations used to pay rent there.
Vampires once came through my 
childhood balcony window where I later
crucified a demon corpse one Halloween. 
It had a goat’s head and arrows through its eye
and was stuffed with my sister’s clothes to 
fill out the body. I was shooting for adolescent
realism, dripping blood and all. 

To avoid the monsters, I replicated death by
taping a knife handle to my chest and dousing 
it with ketchup, careful not to stain the sheets. 
My bedroom was rigged with traps and alarms,
understood all too well by my dog. 

I invented a protector, and elf king named Lyfear.
Resting head to pillow, I heard him patrolling
my unconscious, every heartbeat a footstep, vigilant 
against the giant ants, the headless corpses. 

Then, the monsters went away. No more Goonie gadgets. 
No more ketchup on the bed. No more Elf king. 
No more guard dog.

Instead, I have others do the work for me. Jackson 
has given me dragons. Romero has resurrected the dead.
Argento has provided the black glove murderer. Fulci, 
the rabid dogs and Rollen the Succubi. I suppose it’s easier
this way. There’s too much clutter under the bed these days
for monsters.

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