The Shower Did Not Cleanse

David Arroyo

Crying in the shower,

white steam, the PTSD, the hot spout

                like a chorus of needy babies. Belle,

                                your need broke me. A red jolt

passed through my fingers. The only hot flash

                a beast can have.

                                                I backhanded you.

I got grim. Swallowed

                you head first, then I swallowed the pets. I

                                dined on the furniture. Candelabra waxing

woe from my chin down

to my throat, hot, then hard.

                No fairy godmothers for me,

                                just  a substitute Dairy Queen.


at the door for the Big Bads to come back

                –they promised they would.

                                I became their student.

I learned to kill, to crush, to eat children raw.

                With you still heavy in my belly like a stack

                                of bone meal pancakes.

It happened in the mind’s red-soaked eye,

                but my hand twitched. Under the white smile

                                of the full moon I ran for the forest

soaped with our rape, our fever, our endless

                Fairytale. My canines long with

                                a thirst for battered wife.




David Arroyo is a nerd and ex-catholic. His Dungeons & Dragons alignment is Neutral Good. He holds an MA in English from Florida State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. He’s been published in Stirring, Silver Blade, and Burning Word.