FNS: Beast from Chloe Viner

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Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Helen Presents: a poem from Chloe Viner


Depression won’t be reasoned with
a stubborn fifteen-year-old in class
unwilling to listen to the teacher
brakes on ice
that can’t react to the press of your foot
jumping away in protest
causing you to skid into the snowbank
book already written, impervious to edits
dog who won’t heal
no matter the leash or collar

A beast you cage each morning
padlock on metal beam
frothing at the mouth
she greets you at the door
regardless of lock or key
some days your husband returns home to find
bloody prints leading to half of you
the rest, nowhere to be found
others, you manage to tame it
make it silent for days or weeks,
dream of a day when you take the antique
rifle off its spot on the wall
aim the gun between the beast’s eyes
and fire
but you have yet to find a way to
extract the beast
from your chest and you are not going
anywhere,
so for now
the beast stays.


Chloe Viner’s first book of poetry, Naked Under an Umbrella, was published in 2011 by Finishing Line Press. Her second book of poetry, What the Rain Said Last Night, is forthcoming this November by Future Cycle Press.

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