Perhaps you thought we were gone
when the puddles of fat and ash congealed,
and our stink unstuck from the back
of your throat. When you exhale
into the face of your wife, does she smell us?
Lately at night, familiar as cats,
we've taken to creeping into your room,
reeking of bonfires, empty-headed
pumpkins, poppets of wormwood and rue.
In your sleep, you eat our bodies
and brag come morning, you dare not
pass a hedge for fear of whispers
nor linger where three roads meet.
We are slowly collecting your fluids,
your fallen hair; we hide in your socks
like foxtail, we diffuse our dust
into all your meals. Soon we'll leach
as salt from your skin, fly like spittle
out of your gaping mouth. We are the hook
and the bait. We are always to blame.