unearthly child, by linnet phoenix

I was never great
at watching horror movies.
I remember at school
an obese cathode-ray tube TV
being trolley-wheeled in
to treat us to ‘Aliens’.
My personal version of hell
is being trapped in a dark
room full of clap-happy
normal children who didn’t
breakout into sweats.

They don’t hear heartbeats
pounding in their ears
as vignetting clouded eyes
broke into pixelated dots.
I fidgeted uncontrollably
wishing to curl in a fetal
ball of unspent nausea.
I forced myself to watch
Sigourney Weaver’s cat
hiss, chest bursting scene.

Each time, I’m vice-gripped
by anxiety’s steel fingers
and pinched to purple
bruised into pounding panic.
It’s her back arched
in unearthly terror
as the ugliness grows,
sharp teeth and claws tear
to escape this rib-cage.
I am both alien and host.


photo credit: https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/23184/how-do-they-make-cats-hiss

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