“Poisoned Conscience” by WC Roberts

dark things scurry down there
under the light you throw down
to hide your fear of them
and the movie they made of your life
hasn’t even started yet

you’re in it
what?
you’re in for it now

and at the bottom of a well that has gone dry
the countdown begins, and the war
waged behind closed doors
comes out
into the open
and the thunder rolls back the war-lovers
they’ve started one of their own, I think

in your nostrils
burning
you try to shake it off
and it only grows more insidious
this trailblazing
inside you
your blood-brain barrier their Cumberland Gap
and your tumor a fecal smear their Eldorado
the horror poised above you
ageless as a curse grown cold, primeval
become as much a part of you
as your poisoned conscience


WC Roberts lives in a mobile home up on Bixby Hill, on land that was once the county dump. The only window looks out on a ragged scarecrow standing in a field of straw and dressed in WC’s own discarded clothes. WC dreams of the desert, of finally getting his first television set, and of ravens. Above all, he writes, and has had poetry published in Kaleidoscope, Strange Horizons, Apex, Space & Time Magazine, Aoife’s Kiss, Scifaikuest, Star*Line, and others.