Evolutionary Fears

Koji is a Rhysling-nominated American poet living in Bulgaria. Her work is in Lucent Dreaming, Savant-Garde, and Eye to the Telescope, among others. Find out more about her writing at kojiadae.ink. "Evolutionary Fears" is in Short Circuit #09, Short Édition's quarterly review.

Image of Short Circuit - Short Circuit #09
I sit in a chair
that melts to nothing
beneath me. I close my eyes
because she says I can
and I can't stand to look
at her face.

We'll peel back your brain
in slices, if you will—

I won't.

Don't speak to me
in metaphors, I beg.

Right. Just tell me, then
a list.

I'm afraid to speak
to swallow, to breathe.
I begin anyway.

Things that crawl
or creep
or hiss.
Especially things that slither,
pinch or sting.

She slices the layer.
It slides from my head
wet and sticky.
She sets it aside.

They're just evolutionary
fears, she explains.

The dark.
The unidentified.
The unknown.

Quite normal.
Once useful. Before
they signaled danger. Now
they distract you.
Tell me more.

She picks to the root
of brain and truth
of self.

Things that look human
but aren't.

She's silent.

I open my eyes.

Things that look human.
But aren't.

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