by Claire L. Smith
The ceiling pressed into his eyes,
With than three hours of sleep earned,
and his sheets resting heavily on his torso.
His mind a guzzling drain,
And his heart a weak slab of flesh.
The devils lay with him like a needy lover,
Wrapping around his legs and throat.
Their claws digging into his skin,
Their snores seeping through their teeth.
He forced himself from his cocoon,
The devils groaned as they spilt onto the floor.
Clinging like fungus to his feet,
Attempting to drag him back to sleep.
He fought them, slipping into a used set of clothes,
Stepping out of his grey prison and into the stormy street.
The crowd suffocated him, meeting his shuffled pace,
Swallowing him into the rough pavement.
The Devils climbed onto his shoulders,
Whispering old opinions, proclaiming their wisdom.
Gnawing at his defeated corpse and graveyard brain.
They worked their dark magic,
Their clawed fingers tweaking and scratching.
He forgot the person he once was,
Forgotten the warm sizzle of joy,
The snuggly sense of belonging.
Long lost with his compassion,
And red, beating heart.
The devil’s whispers turned to throaty growls,
Causing him to shiver in his coat,
His heels itching to twirl.
Ignoring his fleeting courage and burning steps,
He let them win.
In a desperate pace, he carried them home.
His heart pulsing in his throat as he retreated into his sullen cave.
Encasing like a midnight flower,
The devils tucked him into his strap jacket sheets.
Forgetting the outside world as their whispers became his reality.
You don't own me
You’re a poorly envisioned god,
Intelligent beyond morals,
Disgusted by the peasants,
All a vile menace.
I’m a peasant,
The lowly child,
Too ignorant to be bliss,
Too weak to be wild.
I can be pushed, shoved without bruise,
I am shamed and abused.
I am but a vessel,
For the effortless blame.
Dark surrounded me,
You’re vile plague descending.
Purging my innocence,
My sweetly essence draining.
Then came the revolution,
A soaring suggestion of freedom.
With breath of defiance,
I starved your emotional violence.
I am not your child,
You are not my saviour.
I step out into the wild,
Leaving you riddled and poor.
Claire L. Smith is an Australian author, poet, screenwriter and artist. Her creative work has been featured in Luna Luna Magazine, Mookychick, Anti-Heroin Chic and Moonchild Magazine. Her essays promoting gender equality has been featured in Business Woman Media, Mookychick, NerdVanaTV and A Woman's Thing. She is also an official contributor to Outlet Magazine. A full list of her work can be found on her website.