I’m Secretly a Monster But Don’t Tell Anyone

by Erin Mullens

I fling back my elegant neck, sipping flowery rosé

As the jewel encrusted birds flutter about the glamour

Resting precariously on the edge of my shoulder.

Every word is a golden lie, a bit of thread I twist

Hard, to weave together a beautiful tapestry.

If I just look like a rainbow on a green hill

They won’t see the demons fighting in the palm of my hand.

Under the table, my legs shake and my ankle bounces

I am terrified that someone will see through my illusion.

If you knew who I really was, you’d recoil

And shout bloody murder as the gongs sound

To the demise of my already shaky reputation.

If you knew who I really was you’d never look away

Drawn, like watching a train wreck

Gloriously going up in flame and ashes.

If you knew who I really was, you’d lose your love for me

And I’d be left sifting through the beads of my fate

Wondering which one was it that left me fucked up.

Oh, of course, when I am in the middle of company

I can simper and smirk with all the ease and grace

Of a lazy summer wind circling around the terrace.

I am an expert in the art of careful lies tossed out carelessly.

I say, oh dear, don’t you think the weather is so nice?

Instead of the truth, that I love the feel of a thunderstorm

Because the very air starts to swirl with excitement

As danger and uncertainty settles upon the ground.

I say, oh my, I do love this beautiful Greek vase

Instead of the truth, I wish it was more excruciating

More gruesome, with an image of beheaded prisoners

The sound of whips cracking across the fragile pottery

Because life is not a collection of roses in a glass vase

It is a jungle, seductive with beauty, deceptive with dangers.

Sometimes, when I am sitting quietly with you

I get a straining feeling around my neck

Like claws, like hands, like the thread of fate

Strangling me to draw me back into the dark

Into the hidden corners of the bathroom

Where there is nothing but a glorious mirror.

I stare at my reflection, so black and ugly

Like I have just run out of a blazing forest fire.

I don’t look human anymore. I can’t look human

Anymore. I wash it, I powder it, but it remains

The dark shadow surrounding my vampire lips.

Because you are a pink pattern on a cherry blossom

Blooming on a tree imbued with sky like strength

You are a mountain, serenely serenading

The landscape that unfolds peacefully before you.

But I am a river of blood, flowing angrily

I am the earthquake that breaks up the continents

I carry dragons on my head and spears on my lips

I am a mountain of twisted torsos, crying out with torture.

And once you’re gone, I’ll release the snarling snakes.

I’ll dissolve into the fog curling through the sewers

While the air becomes infatuated with the scent of regret

With my bare fingers, I’ll light the wick of a dirty candle

Blowing at the flickering light, my whisper a promise.

Somehow the charade never ever seems to end.

© Erin Mullens


Erin Mullens is currently a high school student in Seoul, South Korea, previously also published in Cathartic Youth Literary magazine.


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