Gnarled

I’m happier than I’ve
ever been

a gnarled twisted
tree

grown into a chain-link fence

my teeth are chipped
razor sharp

I could bite off your finger

take a hunk out of your back

my face is contorting
folding in on itself

hair long turning white

muscles stringy and tearing
skin……..on the neck loosening

go ahead, stare

take one of the thousands
of little pieces

I’ve stopped caring

something so very satisfying
in becoming a monster

my great grandmother
with both legs amputated

insisting I run my fingers
over the scarred
stumps

and here I am

lying on the cool grass
watching stars s p r a y o u t
in the endless blackness

such wonder

I don’t want company
in the way I did

don’t

get too close

risk breathing-in
a tiny droplet of my spit

saliva that’s
tightening on my chin

I’m happier than
I’ve ever been

scaly skin

and all

still capable
of a deep belly laugh

a mass of crisscrossing lines
under my eyes

mind, strong and clear
and ruthlessly free

not heartless, but cold

small talk?
at your peril

I’m busy hunting
moles and field mice

my appetite, voracious

and I’ve seen the twelve point
stag behind the stone wall

near the apple trees

moonlight reflecting in the whites
of his eyes for a split second

I will kill him with an arrow

his tongue will hang out
and I’ll feed

on his flesh for months

he’ll be in my blood
in the paint on my canvases

in my steel sculptures

I’m a monster

with fungus under my
fingernails
yellow and thick

and I’ve never been happier

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