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Monsters in the Closet

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They're not under the bed
that's the first place you'll look
so don't be afraid
to dangle an arm or a leg off
it's not here to eat you

they're not behind the curtain
all that takes is a flick of the wrist
and you'd find them
none of that suspense
that comes with a turning knob
so don't be afraid of the window

and they're not coming down the hall
with a crash and muffled swear words
those are just your parents
sick of checking under the bed, behind the curtain, or in the closet
because your parents can't see the monsters
not when they flip the switch
and the bright lights assault your eyes
and your protection turns back into covers
your free limbs still attached to your body

and the closet is just a closet
not a cave
not a hideaway
not some sinister black hole you can see from miles away

they don't come out when the lights are on
when the grown ups are in the room
when the closet is just a closet
they wait for the dark
when you're alone in your sheet of armor, made of cloth
they wait until you can't stand it anymore
so you disable your fortress
swing your feet to the ground
ignore the tapping at the window and the shadow under your bed
cross the miles between you and that knob
then turn it yourself
alone, in the door
you open the closet door




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