The Naked Rot

SHIR ARIYA
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Illustration by Sarah Delli Colli

by Frank Lasocki

It came clawing at my door one morning

clicking and rattling its yellow tongue

 

sprung up from the warm belly of August,

a warped eye against my peephole.

 

I told myself I could do without supermarkets

without the gas station, the laundromat

 

but nineteen days of cowering in dirty underwear 

drove my fingers to the doorknob –

 

a lick and a nuzzle

and I was done for.

 

Dropped dead on my own welcome mat

jaw open, salivating onto capital L.

 

A second me rose up swiftly

taking over my phone, my family,

 

my furnished, bright seventh-floor apartment

sinking new teeth into my toothpaste.

 

A full-blooded imposter with a heavy stride

hauling back groceries on Tuesday nights,

 

indulging in the sweet rush of cigarettes

and cold drops of white milk,

 

my body a sad sack of marbles 

shoved aside by a hard, familiar foot.

Shir Ariya studies Screenwriting at London Film School. She spends her free time writing, drawing and consuming as much art as possible.