how to be brave

Speak the demon’s name. Not three times
into a mirror. Not by candlelight nor
beneath the fullest moon.
Speak the demon’s name not before
an altar, or a cross turned on its head, or
a bent old witch with bones
instead of fingers.
Speak the demon’s name in a whisper
if you must, or through
your fingers, or
your tears. Call it not by latin names
or prayers but call it
a bloody shovel.

Speak the demon’s name into a phone
at 9pm on a Wednesday, when you are exhausted
and bleeding and maybe
coming down with the flu. Take up not a stake but
an iPhone and say it to
your best friend, or your mother, or someone
who once called you when they were haunted
too
years ago.

Speak the demon’s name not to banish
or to burn or to expunge but to
point a finger through the dark and say
I know what you are, and
I am not the only one.

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