The nightmare recurrent since I was small
A presence malevolent, dark, looming,
Hovering over like a vagrant evil
The terror catches in my throat
The screams strangled down to whimpers
Even now, there is no relief in waking
I know who the dark figure was
I know who he is

When confronted with the truth,
That you allowed yourself to become
The object you hated and feared all your life,
You understand you will never be more
Than the thing you were
When you were at your very worst,
Wholly and intrinsically repugnant
You are that now forever

I no longer look for monsters
In closets or under beds
The objects of all my fears,
Those things I detest above all else,
They aren’t hiding from me or anyone else
My monsters now inhabit my mind,
And walk around in my skin

Michael O’Keefe is a retired Detective. He is the author of the breakout crime/thriller Shot to Pieces.