Past Lives

from “Werewolves and Other Monsters”

By Della Vance Greenawalt


Don't think I don't know that you could kill me, I saw you try. 
I know you could. I remember how your hands felt  
Around my neck, the necklace you gave me  
Of bruises. Don't tell me you are cured  
All these years later, I know better. 
I was there at counseling when you blamed me, your parents, the world  
For your imagined mistreatment, your bad behavior. 
By circumstance?  
By birth?  
We both know your parents your environment your frustration my helplessness  
Are not to blame,  
We both know you were not damaged in your youth,  
That your unnaturalness is all you know.  
That you have always been  
Evil, from the womb or before.  
You have hidden your ugly secret by being 
A pillar in church, at work, around everyone
Except us, your family.  
There is no way to hide 
Your real self.  
No way to come clean when you are 
How you must hate seeing me  
Alive doing thriving 
After I have seen your inner self, 
Your missing soul, your nothingness 
Your ink black howl, hidden deep,  
It comes out and terrorizes  
You, me, anyone who looks into your feral eyes.  
Now I understand their pale green-yellow color,
And how they change to black to match your 
Don't tell me you are tamed civilized cured.  
Don't tell me the arrest the probation the counseling took.  
Don't explain away your history 
Of strangling the women in your life, 
The women you wanted to kill, 
Beginning with me.  
They know 
I know  
And your vile, barely masked madness that will 
Master you
One day 
And there will be no survivor left to write of it.