Paul Guest

With Monsters

I have never seen a ghost, though

when I was a boy I imagined

a haunted world.  It isn’t.

I should be relieved

that within the dark was nothing.

That the crumbling shack

was just decay.  That

this was lovely.  That

the woods behind my house

were not patrolled

by Bigfoot, shaggy and immense

and howling.  I am

daydreaming of the Wolfman

right now.  I’m staring

up at the threatening sky

where tonight the moon

will be like a floating bone,

white and strange.  What

will you whistle, walking past

the graveyard?  I know

how the tune goes,

if not the words.  If there are words.

I have none right now,

reading the news.  Tell me

if you are sick.  If you hurt.

If the world has ever

been your ally.  It hasn’t.

It won’t.  I am thinking

of Dracula – his alarming mouth.

I am thinking of blood.

Of my heart.  These clouds

which are shaped like harm.



“With Monsters” is from Because Everything is Terrible (Diode Editions, 2018).