The Face at Pacudora

It looked at me twice
as it blazed out of the trees,
its hair a fiery green,
its three arms waving out
of its body like the mightiest
diamonds in the world.

It hovered off the ground,
commanded me to close my eyes.
When I did, the only devil I ever saw
Rrmoved the face from its face
and recited alphabets I didn’t know.

I opened my eyes and fought
the headache so I could see
the dark alley behind my grandmother’s
house where trash cans were flipped
over by the wind, the demon
chasing me into a crowd of red
monkeys at the end of the lane.

I cried out and kicked beer
bottles in my way, breaking glass
spreading the monkeys up the wall.
I don’t recall the rest, but the face
at Pacudora hissed four words
at me—stay, open, look, sleep,
then disappeared, the breath
of its stinking alley burning
decades of memory into me.