Terror I Know

The terror I know
does not come from gore,

not from killers
or monsters
with bone fingers

or the slow, steady gait
that will always catch a victim
who is running through the woods.

It does not come
from skeletons
or wraiths.

It does not come
from slime
or sharp teeth.

It comes from
the steady only-for-me whisper
that has never been quiet
save for in the loudest roar of love
from the largest crowd.

That soft, sly whisper
that has never stopped saying
the three words
that have made
all the difference in my life:

“Not. Good. Enough.”

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