Friday, June 08, 2012

The Dawn of the Face-Eaters: An Ontology of Terror




Well, the new fear today is getting your face eaten.
Yesterday, the fear was having your rights of partnership
dissolved, your gas price gone over the 4 or $5.00 mark.
And before that it was getting bombed by your neighbor

in the hijab, your other neighbor being shot in a hoodie.
Before this, there was the fear of the hijacker, of the office
building exploding, and before that there was the fear of
the things that happen in farther away places than the

mailbox that may or may not contain the letter laced with
anthrax. Remember when the Tylenol first was “tampered
with?” Remember the way we checked for razors in the
Halloween apples and the candy spilled out from the pillow

cases (because I grew up in a neighborhood where you
could acquire a pillowcase of candy in a night) and a worried
parent held each piece up to the desk lamp, searching for the 
torn wrapper, the steel eyes of death tucked inside the taffy,

and before this there was the terror of the too quiet room,
the blank stare of the darkness a Mickey Mouse nightlight
only seemed to deepen the eyes of, that solitude, that sense
you were prey to things you could not see and, worse, could

not yet think about because your mind was the size of an apple
then, and inside that apple, if you held it up to the light, if some
beast no one had told you about yet, sliced it open, you know
what you would find: that shining ridge, those unclosing eyes,

the thing with teeth that ran at you from nowhere and always
started with your mouth, unravelling your mind from the inside
in one long transparence, sweet and fresh, the juice of young
trees that ought not ever be tinged by blight or scuffed by storm,

much less unwielded by thoughts of such things as this that
now, much like a new string of a once curable disease, dawns
not once by four times in the papers, and tomorrow perhaps
another, making every day a halloween, and every night, at home

safe in your bed, all the other nights, your full, untouched face
pressed into the cool unbloodstained safety of your pillow,
your eyes, permitted to rest against the glaring, mouthless dark.







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