He Who Fights Monsters

I won’t survive this dark night’s lunacy.
Waves smash against the fortress of my mind
with an endless ebb and flow of misery—
I’m drowning in a Labyrinth I designed.

No compass, satnav, Valium can save
me here, where even stars are scared to shine.
To a shifting siren’s song I am enslaved,
drawn down beyond the high-tide line.

Battered by winds strong as Minotaurs
my hull is breached beyond my skill to caulk.
I drift on wings of wax, then on all fours
crash land where none but monsters walk.

Light glints on broken glass, at last I see!
There’s no abyss but this one in me.

first published at Poetry Nook, September 2019

Witness Interview

On his first visit
we sat silent for a time
before he asked if all things go to heaven.
I told him good people go to heaven
and his mother had been good.

The next time
he asked right away
how his mother flew to heaven
without wings.
I said that angels lift us up
when we cannot fly.

Our last visit was short.
His mother liked butterflies
so he’d sent her a few, he told me.
First he ripped off their wings —
unneeded things — then burned them
like he’d seen his dad do.

Ryan Stone