Monstrous Twin

Ignored and beaten by turns, our poor, monstrous twin,
lambasted for existing, scapegoat for everything,
an ongoing, internal smear-campaign to alienate, isolate.
At last he’s arrested, convicted and locked up alone.
The moment the key is turned, we find ourselves there
in the gloom. If we cannot confine, it will have to be kill.
Throwing ourselves on him, we gouge at his eyes, bite
at his flesh, grasp handfuls of hair, smashing his skull
against brick. Fury compels us, but pain soon stops us.
We hadn’t noticed him fighting back, but somehow we’re
bruised and bleeding. Breathless we lie on the floor,
wonder how long ’til we’re free. Months pass, and in the
darkness our hatred germinates; but with it a seed of
wisdom. We summon a priest, who hurries along, expecting
a jail cell conversion. Instead, an exorcism. Somehow
my cellmate is in me, and I want him gone. The priest
rolls up his sleeves, wanting theatrics. He brandishes crucifix,
gestures and genuflects, hurls holy water, proclaims in Latin.
Seeing his work is cut out, he beds down beside me,
surrounded by candles and crosses. The fool is as blind as
me. Stealing his robes, I make my exit and head for a quiet
garden. An owl hooting in the distance, a pond reflecting
the streetlights, I sit beneath a naked willow and make my
peace with myself, an act I’ll repeat ’til the day that I die.

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