if I must be all the evil in the world, the box made by my father gods to fence me in, if the gaps in my sequence lie, waiting to be replaced, recovered, if it is easier to devour the unsuspecting, if what they don’t have to feel in themselves until they see me, the sickle claw I brandish, if I was the villain of this movie, but if they did deserve it, though, if I was not the killer but not the final girl either, if what they fear has always been the softness of their own bellies, if their guts, if their necks and stomachs, their fluids, what they look like unseamed, spilled onto the floor in front of god and everyone, if maybe then they will remember, then, when they found me the most graceful shape in all time’s creation, my bones pieced back together, thought they held the vial, the stolen life, thought themselves each the one who invented me, thought they would place themselves in my mouth, look back at the photo later and remember just how little they feared, then,
CJ Scruton is a trans, non-binary poet from the Lower Mississippi River Valley. They currently live on the Great Lakes, where they teach English and research ghost stories. Locally, they are a founding member and director of the Milwaukee Queer Writing Project and serve on the board of the Milwaukee Native American Literary Cooperative. Their work appears in The Journal, New South, Juked, CutBank, and other publications.