poetry marathon prompt #10: poem in response to ‘moonshadow’

“And if my colours all run dry…”

I’m being followed by a plague doctor

plague doctor   plague doctor

Fœtid breath of death

Slip of leather soles over stone

I hear him     creeping closer.

Behind his beaky mask

lurk no colours. His eyes as dry

as his clawed fingers, curled

into talons rend & tear rend & tear

leathery and skeletal.

I’m being followed by a plague doctor

plague dreaming    plague dreaming

all his teeth    north and south

rend & tear   rend & tear

caught between them, my skin

burns & withers

my lungs fill with fire

I can’t breathe

I’m being followed by a plague doctor

plague coming   plague coming

And if I ever lose my heart

if the plague tears it apart

it will not break. It will not.

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