Issue #11

Cold War

He appears each evening by my desk, as
outside dusk dissolves into starlight.
His right shoulder — my left — grows opaque
in the glass and the soft light of paper lampshades.

He glares each morning, and sometimes at night:
as I brush my teeth from left to right
he brushes right to left, spitting blood
from the same thin gums.

Between the shower specked window and
a dirty mirror, he shrinks into infinity
until caught in a raindrop—
sinking out of view, then reappearing—

trapped in the ice of the window pane.
His eyes dilate into inky marbles
and his grins curl to snarls
even as I force out smiles.

He's still there when I pull the rusty curtains,
flicking the switch to pitch us into darkness.
I still keep the knife beside the pills
and jolt awake when killing him in dreams.

Benjamin Dorey