We are all afraid of the monster under the bed
The beast in the shadows of the closet
The vampires in the attic
The giant spiders in the shower
The aliens in the spare room.

We fear these. And we all fear the fire beasts
The ones that burn but are not consumed,
That ooze puss from open sores
And bear half melted faces.
We fear their bloated bodies
And shrill screeches.
We fear the sound of their puking in public.
We fear them when they
Surprise us in our dreams.
And we fear their silence most of all.

When we look in the mirror,
And when we are honest,
We see them standing behind us
Staring at us
Not with malice or hatred or hunger
Like you might expect from a half-melted fire beast,
But with confusion.

With their stare they only ask
And they only ask one question:

We scream in horror at the question
At its implication
And we hide our faces
Our fears and tears
Under Ms. Ross’s famous quilt
Until we can convince ourselves that everything
Is ok.

Even though it obvious to everyone
That it isn’t.