something follows you
into your own haunted house
between cornfields, electric
fences and sheep,
between ax murders
and hangings,
and it whines at you through adenoids
from room to room —
you lock yourself in the bathroom
with the soaking moldy carpet
and the razor blades
while it rattles at the doorknob
and moans through its adenoids
you feel like cutting yourself
a tunnel of warm blood
into a nest of warm sleep
where you’ll never hear
doorknobs or adenoids again
and this feeling is familiar
you remember it from the best
and the worst
time of your life
and that’s when you identify it
you name it — love —
and it isn’t until you’ve thrown
beer all over it
and dreamed of ramming the nose
of your car through its basement windows
that you realize —
love has nothing
to do with doorknobs, shock
or wet carpet
love doesn’t use razor blades
love doesn’t speak through its nose

wendy shaffer


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