Poem in Which You Blame the Demon

Your friend thinks you are possessed by a demon he says
he told his church about you and they agree but they won’t cast
the demon out because you are not a Christian if they exorcise
the demon you would become an empty vessel the demon
will come back with his friends their uppers are your downers
they will have a party inside you their joy is your pain
your friend swears he saw your eyes turn completely black
black as amateur porn loading on a laptop full of viruses
he says Jesus Christ will take your anxiety away if you stand
in front of all these people and upload your memory to God
the demon will piss off and Jesus will do the washing up
but you don’t step forward you shake sweat pop pills stare
at the shape of your shadow on the world everyone is dancing
they remind you of scarecrows bobbing in a hurricane
after the event is over people wearing yellow t-shirts
bring food from a local takeaway you watch the fat pastor dangle
a steaming slice of kebab meat over his happy mouth the meat
makes a slimy sound as it slaps around the pastor’s lips you stare
at his pretty wife think about her kicking you in the balls
imagine she’s suffocating you with her quiet Christian vagina
maybe the demon puts these thoughts in your head yes
just blame everything on the demon the inside of the circus tent
the church has rented is dripping with condensation and after walking
in a circle with your head back mouth open like a baby bird you finally
catch a drop of condensation on the tip of your dry tongue it tastes
like some kind of fetish your friend says only eight people stepped
forward and gave their hearts to God tonight they were led away
to the special area where counsellors give advice and start-up
packs and carefully folded emotions they touch your arms and smile
for a moment you thought you might step forward and wave
at everyone and cry a little bit and walk to the special area
as the demon screams No No No please No No
you almost ran towards the stage to hug the preacher
wailing your sins like the comedown crows of Sunday morning
perched on your neighbour’s chimney burnt letters barking
the charred syllables of love Yes a small part of you
maybe one of your nipples or a broken tooth or the fading
memory of your ex-girlfriend the lap dancer regrets not stepping
forward because you feel guilty about a lot of things
such as mood swings and selfishness seagulls and supermarkets
the way your mind wanders off and yesterday you ripped up
your wife’s anniversary card during an argument and spat
on each crumpled Hallmark half you horrible bastard
your self-hatred is a gambler’s guide to astrology
a fairground by the river your childhood heaven’s faulty jukebox
you wonder how the demon feels when you take your daughter
to the park and you spin together on the big spinny thing she loves
and she looks around in awe and then she looks up at you in awe
and tells you this is fun I am having a great time with you daddy
as you push the spinny thing faster and the park gate blurs into trees
and trees melt into sky and sky shivers into sun and the sun sets
behind the circus tent and the pastor is happy and his wife’s
vagina is happy and your friend is studying your demon eyes
very carefully as you log in to Facebook on your crappy phone
because your lift is late and you’re not sure about this you don’t know
if you are awake today but you are definitely alone you don’t know if
you are possessed by a demon but you are definitely going home.

Bobby Parker


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