Make welcome, Devourer

ABIGAIL SIMS

Sunrise: The morning after.
Like many other appointments,
you miss it.

A beige creature stares from the sink counter
wet-eyed, serpentine, glistening, raw.
You wash.

Slow-lidded, it follows, a coil against your ribs
constriction snap-sharp, swallowing—
but you welcome any feeling at all.

Fangs work as you work, tighter,
endless heaviness:
a little grief groans down your slidden sleeve
to the clacking keyboard.

Slick drips over your fingers. Coffee grinds,
grounds spill with a cringe—
pointed teeth press against larynx, pharynx, and tongue.

Sunset: A codeine comfort.
You lie, pinned to the carpet,
empty grin a horror by your ear.

Rise again only for what must be done: Water plants.
Take the trash. Clip your nails.

As you wash your face for bed,
it nibbles at your jugular, a question.

“Take a nap,” you say. It is not an answer.

Lie down again to pray for sleep,
and when you hear it toss and turn beside you,
do not look.

Lest it unhinge its jaw,
just a little.

sand hills

Abigail Sims Since space pirate, traveling swordsman, and dragon-tamer-for-hire are no longer reliable paths to job security, Abigail has settled for wordsmith. After graduating from college in 2017, she tried on an array of professional hats that included writing for stage and screen, restaurant management, and, briefly, horseback riding. Today, she lives and works in Austin, Texas, where she splits her time between marketing wizardry and spinning stories of the wild, wicked, and wyrd. Find more of her work at abigailesims.com

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