hel·low (ˈhelō/) exclamation. A salutation embodying the vibrant energy found in the color yellow.

18 July 2012

Nub of the Horn

See this?
The lump on my forehead?
No, I didn't hit my head
At least not recently
Had it for seven years
It's a calcium deposit
From where I fractured my skull
The gap in my forehead opened
A gate for the horn to form
Like a weed pushing up through cracked asphalt
It didn't need watering
Just a chance.

Twelve years old
Steve and I sneak out of school early
Skip religion class
Walk past the crucifix in the hall
Slide through the little door
By the closet where we kept our albs
From altar serving that morning
I feel guilty
Like a Catholic boy should
But then we're out
Running across the snowy field
To the frozen puddle by the parking lot
More like a lake really
Boots dig into the snow on the edge
Lose traction on the ice
We're flying
Steve spins backward
In a one-eighty
Pretty cool
I could do better
Got a running start, kicking heels back
Go for the gold
Do a three-sixty
Lose control of my boots
My forehead meets ice.

Bloodshot eyes widen, fixated
On the fist growing out of my forehead
Scream at the bathroom mirror
Jam a snowball against the lump
Push Steve into a wall
Sprint across the parking lot
Plunge my head into a snowbank
Numb the drumming in my head
Like a tribal beat summoning the dead
The beast inside emerges
Wedging its horn between the split
In my skull
Breaking from the cage.

After the swelling went down
I was half-demon
Nub of one horn
Protruding from my forehead
Asymmetrizing my face
Depicting Lucifer on a child of God
A corrupt portrait
Of evil over good
Not ying and yang
No angels sang
Half of me was evil
Didn't mean the other half was good
But we say it's a calcium deposit
Give it the benefit of a doubt
Wait for the nub to atrophy
Or the second horn to grow.

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