By Gemma Files

The small shall become great, the crooked become great, and though blind, I shall see.

    —Desumiis Luge

At this very moment, what I'm avoiding most of all

is laying a curse on you.

I've thought about it, a lot, and really,

it's far too much trouble

for far too little reward. So I sit here

smiling pleasantly,

avoiding carving your name with my fingernail

into a sheet of soft lead, then melting it

over a fire. On no account

will I drip wax into water and see

which of the resultant

lumps looks most like your face, then

drive pins into the places

where your eyes should be. Neither will I bury

your cat alive in a cemetery at midnight,

or weave your hair into a nest for birds

to fuck and shit in. None of that.

The worst part of my own forbearance is how you

frankly don't even seem to notice how much effort

it takes for me to avoid making

my thoughts real, killing you long-distance,

sending black words down into your blood to bloom

like microbes. Nevertheless, I refuse

to spit into your food, to lick your spoons,

to show my vagina in your shaving mirror, in hopes

that its reflection will strike you blind. To take

photos of you while you sleep, then burn them.

You can't make me, no matter what you do,

or don't.

Born in England and raised in Canada, Gemma Files is an award-winning horror writer with a twenty-year career. She has been a screenwriter and film history teacher, and currently reviews dark genre movies for the Chiaroscuro webzine. Her Weird Western Hexslinger trilogy concludes this year, just in time for the Mayan apocalypse. She has also published two chapbooks of speculative poetry (Dust Radio, from Kelp Queen Press, and Bent Under Night, a Sinnersphere Production).


Powerful! Just the kind of no holds-barred poetry I like. Love the word choices and how every sentence fairly seethes with raw emotion.

"The worst part of my own forbearance..." -- oh, how that resonated with me!

Leave a Comment

The following HTML tags are allowed: <em><strong><cite><strike><b><i><a>