The powerful monster combs his hair
in the morning, and flosses his flat,
white teeth. He has a drawer full
of watches that only speak to him; telling time
would be traitorous. His suits are silk,
as are his ties—soft
as the blade of a knife.
When he buttons his shirt, his nails are
perfect. Make no mistake;
he’ll grind your bones
to make his dough,
but the dust won’t stick
to his little hands.
His face is pervasive; every time
you close your eyes, its imprint
is burned on the back of your eyelids.
He is powerful, he’ll tell you,
as he spreads his liver-soft fingers,
but here’s something he can’t tell you: truth
burns his lips, exposes the air beneath his suit.
We have so much more to fear than his
Courtney Bates-Hardy is the author of House of Mystery (ChiZine, 2016) and Sea Foam (JackPine Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared in a variety of literary magazines, including Room, Carousel, and On Spec, and they have been featured in Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing and longlisted for The Best Canadian Poetry 2015. She is a dual citizen of Canada and the US, and lives in Saskatchewan.