Monster by Ngô Binh Anh Khoa

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Narrated by Ngô Binh Anh Khoa


Monster by Ngô Binh Anh Khoa
Illustration by Sue Babcock

I soar amid the clouds
Enveloped by roaring winds
That soothe and caress the flesh
Behind my chipped scales
As my blood aflames with life.

I furl my old wings,
Feel the pull of gravity
as gentle as my mother’s
Embrace welcoming me home.

I hear the air sing
While I faster, faster fall;
Its sweet voice makes the trees sway
As leaves leave their branch’s clutch
To dance free midst the heavens.

I see the great Earth
Stretching ever on
For a moment, my vision blurred
By bursts of colors in the sun.

I breathe in the scents
Of Nature unpolluted
By reeks of decay
And blood-stained arms.
I listen to her melodies.

Longing to prolong the thrill
Which burns within me,
Helps me to forget the dark
Caves that confined me,

I spread my wings.
How long has it been
Since my last taste
Of freedom? Sorrow
Grips my heart

Insatiable hounds
Forever pursue me.
They lust for my death
For some perverse honor.

Seconds to landing,
I channel my wrath and flap
Wings full strength,
Return to the skies
Where I, last of my blood, reign.

I feel their presence near
Overwhelmed by the stench
Of metal, flame, and smoke.
I have tried to stay clear

yet they’ve dogged my every step
And shattered all I hold dear.

I circle my home,
In relish, and in mourning,
A few more seconds

I take one deep breath
And plunge toward the marauders,
Mouth alight with flames.

Those fools desire a monster.
They shall have it.


BIO: Ngô Binh Anh Khoa is currently teaching English at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HUTECH) in Vietnam. When not working or grading papers, he enjoys daydreaming, reading fictions and writing poetry for entertainment. His speculative poems have appeared in Weirdbook, Spectral Realms, Star*Line, NewMyths and other venues.