The Monsters Under My Bed

When I can’t sleep

I lay on the floor

and hang out with the monsters

under my bed

I finally introduced myself

after I got tired of them

poking me in the middle of the night

mustered my courage

took a peak

 

They are quite the motley crew

 

Vulnerability

resembles a giant porcupine

all razor sharp quills

shy gaze

caramel voice

She looks lovely

but it’s hard to get close enough

to really tell

 

Rage looks normal enough

as far as monsters go

but when he gets angry

which is often

his skin gets scaly

his eyes turn red

smoke starts to drift out

from his ears and nostrils

I find myself quite attracted to Rage

I want to stroke his reptilian skin

sit close to his heat

inhale his smoke

until my eyes burn red too

 

Invisibility is pretty quiet

mute actually

not so much invisible

as completely nondescript

I can never exactly remember what

Invisibility looks like

No matter how hard I try to look

it’s like my eyes slide right off

every time I visit Invisibility

it is like meeting for the first time

 

Memory is a giant messy yarn ball

pieces of barbed wire and broken glass

protruding out

mixed in with the occasional flower

and seaside picnic

Memory’s voice sounds like children laughing

Melissa Etheridge played in the dark

silent screams

heaving sobs

Hanging out with Memory is exhausting

 

Detachment does most of the talking

She wears a sharp suit

pantyhose

sensible pumps

tortoise shell glasses

she even carries a laser pointer

which she likes to use to illustrate her talking points

When I mention that I expected the monsters under my bed

to be Nightmare, Fear, Death

she shakes her head and tells me that those

are the monsters that haunt other people

the ones who have always lived in the light

and only have imagination to rely on

Those of us who have looked into the void

seen monsters wearing human faces

are a different story entirely

 

Hope looks like a sorority girl

at her five year college reunion

perfect make-up

well coiffed

just the right amount of accessories

dressed all in pink

tan

well-rested

always smiling

She could be squirting shoppers with perfume at Macy’s

she has a bright, breathy voice

always seems to be selling something

like a Club Med vacation in paradise

I don’t trust her

Not one little bit

 

Little Me is the smallest

she likes to climb on my lap

hold both my cheeks in her cherub hands

look deeply into my eyes

Her eyes are large

hazel

ancient

sad

weary

as though she has seen too much

Half the time I want to turn away

from those knowing eyes

the other half I want to hold her

comfort her

She mostly hums

and sighs

but once she looked at me with her

somber timeless eyes and said in her little girl voice

It wasn’t your fault.  It was never your fault. You used to walk only in the light once too. Before. . .

It was hard to get back to sleep that night

 

I mused out loud one night as I grew drowsy

on the carpet

that I wondered which monster under my bed

was scariest

It was suddenly silent

I realized that they were all staring at me

some shocked

some concerned

Detachment pointed her laser pointer directly my chest

You, of course

The scariest monster under the bed 

is the one you fear you will become

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

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