Picture This as You Drown

A sailor might have made us a promise:
to boat all the way back, as soon, as
soon, and bring us a gold ring.

We might have awaited for years, for
weeks, growing white with worry, until
we heard: the sailor had returned

to harbour, latched the gate, bought a
padlock, and gone to marry his cousin
(the one who has two feet).

And well, how would you feel? We felt
a sorrow deep, deeper than the deepest
depth of the maritime – allow me to

take you on a voyage: can you feel it?
The tight unease around your neck that
grows, that grows, that presses from

behind your eyes and says: no, no, that
will not work
. Then a handful of stars cast
fast, wet fireworks of salt, and then –

nothing. Welcome to our dwelling.

golem, again

i have made a monster. i have made it
large and red. i said: protect me.

it protects me. by bludgeoning every-
one on the head. it makes large red

burgeons on every wall. it throws
everyone down the stairs. it does not

care. it says. you are diminutive and
diminished. but i am might. i will fit you

birdlike into my mouth and chew
the neighbours back into order.

give me a call when anyone questions.
give me a call and you will find that i

have already broken the phone. thrown
the dog in the trash. and smashed

every single teacup. without teacups
your house will be more comfortable.

you will not need to twist tears out
of your pillow come dawn. ever

again. i have made a monster. i have
made it. and now it claims. obey me.

About the Author

Lorelei Bacht enjoys tinkering with words. Sometimes, beauty happens. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Red Ogre Review, Menacing Hedge, Barrelhouse, streetcake, The Rialto, Beir Bua, Backslash Lit, Sinking City, Mercurius, The Selkie, Abridged and elsewhere. Find Lorelei on Twitter @bachtlorelei and on Instagram @lorelei.bacht.writer.