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Stray Thought

JD DeHart

Monster Arrives

 The Gaggle 

Minotaur Next Door

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  He has recently been nominated for Best of the Net, and his chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available on Amazon and from RedDashboard.  See also, and

My thought, a wounded stray animal

roams from place to place like the haggard

voice of a tired man on a radio, playing

lighting in another room.

The story is the same.

I am not sure how some people stop

thinking about something, how they snap

the fuse closed, as if they wet their finger

and thumb and extinguish a concern.

I replace my thoughts, so this stray who moves

from one side of the universe

to the other will ultimately be transformed

into a completely different creature.

Features will blend, feathers will become

scales or vice versa.

What used to be a stray will be captured

and then sit in a cage, reciting

with the same story, the same worn voice.

Fear not, the monster is back.

Or fear.

He went away to a concrete landscape

where the tall buildings made him dizzy.

The monster got great mileage.

He does not like looking straight up.

There was at least one stop for a meal

of chili and a t-shirt.

Many people met him on the street,

not knowing the truth resting under

the movement of skin.  They faced him.

Now the monster has returned, but

he’s tired of being a monster.  His fur

was cool in the north and now feels

warm and uncomfortable again.  Sweat

drips.  He knows he’s changing and this

time it’s not just the moon.


Trying to sleep, the voices

outside come crashing into dreams.

There’s been alcohol involved

judging from the level of laughter.

Not sure if there’s a goose convention,

a gathering of bachelorettes,

or what’s going on here, exactly.

A tumbler of whiskey sits on a table

in the hotel hallway, and a gnat

attempts to swim in it.  Who knew

that insects enjoyed whiskey.

Voices move up and down the hall

all night, adding to the discomfort of

whatever a pillow defines.  Adding

to the late night meal rising in the back

of the throat.

Adding to the sense of a new place

and unfamiliar event the following day.

Used to be, he lived in the labyrinth.

But you probably know that story.

First, he tried to a quiet life in the

mountains.  But the old failures haunted

him.  I need people, he thought.  He

was wrong.

Now he flicks channels all day.  There

have been a few dates over the years.

They usually go running away.

He’s attempted to leave the myths behind,

but is haunted by his own immortality.

Used to be, he lived in the labyrinth.

It was made of stone and could be travelled

by foot.

Now the maze is in his mind, the movements

of escape not quite as certain.

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