The polite monster says ‘please’
and ‘thank you’ as he buys you
a glass of wine
and mauls your friend with his eyes.
He’s only dangerous to those who don’t know
to watch his hands.
but you’re complicit in his disguise.
He is as safe as friends make him,
and the new girl has no one to whisper a warning.
The whisper is,
his teddy bear wears gloves to hide his claws,
and those in the know can only rip
one stitch at a time.
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. You can find her on Twitter @poetcourtney and Instagram @courtneybateshardy.