Like a Fly to an Open Door by Lauren Bolger

Past, Present, Future by George Stein

i.

So this is me, now: Prisoner

of my dismal room. Only company:

Streaming movies, frozen pizza.

My mind tries to leave this place.

Travels too far forward. Sees nothing

but the same, the same, the same.

The panic returns.

It throttles my breathing.

The morning will be better

I knowingly lie, then rage.

My heart chugs fast, a machine

kicking at the bars of its cage.

I swipe at the lunar calendar

next to the couch,

Hand cursed by papercut,

Mouth cursing at the pain.

ii.

My eyes ache to trace the lines of a face.

All my joys are purloined. Selfish, borderline

lethal. My existence, an unanswered question:

How long can I hide from everything I love?

I pace. I cry. Bite my fist.

I try so hard to stay.

But the keys are in my hand.

Blink once. I’m at the door.

Twice, and I’m on the road.

I turn down that familiar street.

The moon presents, in full. Round,

like my eyes. Its light, an aged yellow.

iii.

Its glow flickers, dancing in my eyes.

God… it hurts.

It hurts,

and I can’t turn away.

My stomach clenches

as I pull up the drive.

I hear a groan (mine)

as the feeling meets me;

the violent hunger-lust

I suppress between feedings

surfaces, bursting to breathe.

My blood swirls thick,

then mixes.

like chocolate syrup

twisting

            into

      milk.

The want: it wrenches the expanse

of my ruined heart, to its hilt.

Ventricles carry it swiftly, like blood

chasing down the line of a blade.

Long before, and after I knew

to hide myself away.

Again,

I know

I live

to feel

my claws

press down

and in…

Tonight, I will make

red ribbons out of you.

I grip the wheel.

I brace myself.

I tell myself

I shouldn’t have come.

I’ll bring myself to light

like a fly to an open door. 

iv.

Always bleary after,

though I do

remember:

Shouting, scrambling.

Gargling, chewing.

A tingling effervescence.

Like my skull just made

s e l t z e r.

The flavor lingers.

Fragrant, like garlic.

Metallic.

I crawl back in

to my human skin

as the moon dips itself

in darkness once more.


Lauren Bolger is a horror and poetry writer. Her work can be found in horror anthology Beyond the Levee and other Ghostly Tales, and has poetry forthcoming in The Tiger Moth Review. Shortly, she’ll be querying her debut horror novel. She resides in a suburb near Chicago with her spouse and two young children.

 george l stein is a photographer living in the greater NYC area focused on the art, street, urban decay, surreal, and alt/portrait photography genres. He is very fond of interesting juxtapositions and strong contrasts.