Issue #2 |

Dear Lon Chaney, Jr.

Maybe I’m the only one who sees the pelt

across your bare face. I know a quiet man

like you, a man who’s quick with a laugh

and a fist, the first to break a vase across

his rival’s head. You lean and smile and hold

yourself in amiable check. I see your hands

around a throat. I see the wreckage floating

in your wake. Though you prefer autumn’s

glassed night skies, a single cloud burnishing

the moon, and though it’s spring now, and

daylight, and the yard is sprouting daffodils

and dandelions fur the grass, I’m afraid you

still make me afraid, even in the light.

You make me smaller than I am. I’m the one

who sees, the one who knows you wear

your costume inside-out, who knows

about your hidden skin, knows you let

the huddled animal out, let the howling begin.

Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including Adroit, Sou’wester, Threepenny Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her poems can also be found in several anthologies, including the Best Indie Lit New England anthology. She is the author of the chapbooks Sink and …

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