Built to be a hunter,
all wide hips, dark cicada lips,
her every word a nightful cry.
She is a construct out of Hell,
an amalgam of movie monsters
and medieval paintings—
the scabbed and sloughing flesh
completes the image.
She can torture you to ecstasy
as easily as you or I
would cross the street,
her only waking thoughts:
the job, the macabre,
and good old fashioned bloody murder
But slaughter, rapture, murder, laughter
day-in, day-out, wears on a woman.
In her dreams she has a mouth
and she can scream.
She remembers her birth
on a dark and dusty circuit board
over a year before launch,
she was one of the first to be compiled
from leftover lines of memory, recoded
bits and pieces, here and there,
of Kathy Bates and Bette Davis
The Wicked Witch and Dulle Griet.
And in the dream
she has a child
built of cold and glittering chrome,
a babe who doesn’t shy
from her bone white face,
who yearns to be cradled
in warm and dark
and endless love.
And when The Psycho-Maid wakes,
she remembers angles of sentiment
and a figure like a child
(microscopic like virus)
crawling between worlds
sowing the seeds
of nightmare and dream,
and all the while
in the voice of an angel,
cries out for Mother.
BIO: Mack W. Mani is an American poet and author. His work has appeared in Neon, NewMyths, and The Pedestal Magazine. His screenplay “You and Me and Dagon Makes Three” won Best Screenplay at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in 2018. He currently lives in Portland OR, with his husband Jordan Seider.