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The Stygian Threshold by Harris Coverley


For all my good intentions

For any hope of minor peace

I know that it can happen

It will most certainly happen

I can feel it waiting

As I walk past the shadows in the lonely places

(Waiting like the dirt beneath fingernails)

A patient, brown, jagged claw

To come out of the darkness

Grab me like a curious child grabs a beetle

See if it doesn’t!

Every dark spot is a haunt

Every crevice a hangar in evil’s service

Every crack another opportunity for it to slither out

Wrap itself around my weaker leg

Take me for the last time

Take my life as easily as it fell onto Earth originally

And gained its ancestral sins

Like any other inheritable condition

Yes, I still fear

But I don’t fear the fear these days—

I expect it

I cherish it

An old friend…

Feeling it always

Day to night and into dawn

In shadows

In hazes

In smoke clouds

In cracks

In stopped-up gutters

In reflections in broken mirrors

In shriveled dreams, long disregarded

In a shattering of nightmare against the wall of sleep

No, I’m not worried

Except perhaps for what it might do next

After it’s done with me.


HARRIS COVERLEY was nominated for the 2020 Rhysling Award and is a member of the Weird Poets Society. He has had verse accepted for Polu Texni, Spectral Realms, Scifaikuest, Horror Sleaze Trash, View From Atlantis, Corvus Review, and Scarlet Leaf Review, amongst others. He lives in Manchester, England.

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