by Corey Mesler

“He who has been bitten by a snake
is frightened by a rope.”

~from the Talmud

Fear is a tarbaby, pitch

and loblolly center.

Is the imp at the end of

the bed, the one

still there after the night-

mare. Is a microphone

left open, waiting

for sin. I know these things

because I am Fear too.

Because I am the thing in-

side and out of

myself which can kill me

but will not, which

can garble all that I say

or try to say or do

or, with you, Love, canker

the excellent proffered heart.

COREY MESLER has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published five novels, 3 books of short stories, numerous chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections. He has been nominated for a Pushcart numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He runs a bookstore in Memphis. He can be found at www.coreymesler.com

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