Strange Monsters by Kyle Hemmings

August 4, 2011 Comments Off on Strange Monsters by Kyle Hemmings

Whenever speechless clouds settle in her eyes, Kat goes shopping at the community center for low-cal peanut butter or garlic-flavored hummus. In her apartment, she does Pilates to make her hard to intruders but soft enough to dream of babies. She is in love with a boy named Masaomi, an installer of computer firewalls, an anti-spammer who tells her he fights strange monsters. You mean viruses, Kat once said with the smile of rain streaking across her East Village window. Since meeting Masaomi at The Knitting Factory, Kat sometimes mistakes strangers in a storm for parent duplicates. Sometimes they follow her home and stand next to her bed, staring, saying nothing. She hides her head under the sheets. She pretends to hug Masaomi. Sometimes she cries over what is happening inside her body, a subtle force of nature or an unnamed waterfall. Masaomi tells her that in the darkness, there are portals to other worlds, monsters who take normal shapes during their day jobs. A Starbucks addict on street corners, Masaomi says these monsters have been with us since childhood–they wore the faces of parents, teachers. In an abandoned building on Loisaida, Masaomi reveals that he is an assassin of Kat’s fears. They hold each other still on a creaky second-story floor, while the night rushes past them and through the city. Tonight, he whispers, there are no monsters. Kat wants him to marry her despite the constant feeling of being air-lifted or becoming homeless. She imagines waking up next to Masaomi, who will have last night’s peanut butter smudged against his lips. She imagines an imperfect love in the core of the city. She wants to marry him because someday a monster with hard-drive memory will corner her and she will be out of time.

© 2011 Kyle Hemmings

Kyle Hemmings is the author of three chapbooks of poems: Avenue C (Scars Publications), Fuzzy Logic (Punkin Press), and Amsterdam & Other Broken Love Songs (Flutter Press). He has been pubbed at Gold Wake Press, Thunderclap Press, Blue Fifth Review, Step Away, and The Other Room. He blogs at

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