My Unexpected Demons

And the exorcist came to rid me of
My unexpected demons. He spilled a cross
Of ashes on my forehead and I retched up
A pair of woman’s eyes that had possessed me
Years ago, alongside a minuscule insult
That crippled the corners of my mouth. Three
Ex-presidents flew gibbering from my maw, followed
By the last-minute home run that foiled the Expos in ’81,
And the final level of Halo 3 which vexed
My nightmares into labyrinths, ending with a
Mushroom cloud and the roll of flames consuming
The desk I was trained to hide beneath.

I spewed opportunities and unspoken desires
Gone to zombies, wraiths, imps and succubae,
And my guardian angel who never let me do
Anything I enjoyed. By now the priest’s eyes
Were bulging, trying to oust with prayer
That last mote in the soul’s true sight,
My muse—she who told me life
Could wait and fed me freshly peeled words.
My rescuer flung holy water, cited
Scripture which my muse lapped up, smiling.
“Now you see, Father, why we had you come,”
We said together. “Without you, it would
All be for nothing.” And my jaw unhinged
So I could swallow him screaming whole.
That is who you see looking through
My eyes now that I’ve come to tell you
What you need to know about change.

—Jocko Benoit