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  • Writer's pictureAsh Muzzillo

Esteemed Guest

I’ve had dreams of demons 

Visiting me under the velvet blanket of night— 

When most would wake 

With shivers of fear, 

These are the least troubling of my dreams, by far. 

Perhaps I’ve become accustomed to these somewhat romantic, 

Almost promising visions; 

I seem to remember experiencing them since childhood, 

When Hades’ minions would lift me from my bed by the ankles 

And swing me around until I awoke and landed with a thud, 

As if it wasn’t a chore for me to shut my eyes in the first place.

Nowadays, the dreams are less playful and more grown-up—

Perhaps demons enjoy entertaining children like we do. 

In any case, most of these swirling, fluttering images 

That I find in my moments of blissful ignorance of the rising sun 

Are softer than a lover’s cheek or a swan’s down.

On nights when I am lucky, 

The drowse overcomes me as the train clatters by, 

And soon, the chill from howling winds beyond my view

Are replaced by a luxurious sheath, 

As if I’ve fallen into a lover’s arms 

Or a family’s snug hold, 

And for those momentary dreams, as I know them to be, 

I am suddenly where I belong.

Surely, on most nights, I am plagued by the horrors of reality 

With unrelenting grip and cold cruelty, 

Otherwise I am stiff and worn in the mess of my covers 

With marks under my eyes like no veteran has ever seen. 

Yet, when the demons come to collect me, 

With their darkness that is soft to the touch 

And eyes that lack any semblance of judgement, 

I dare say their presence is welcomed.

In such a case, 

How could anyone propose that my experience be denounced? 

It must be unthinkable for me to have an idea of such idiosyncrasy— 

If I should be exiled upon the notion that my blessings are curses, 

And oh, I will, 

Allow me the vice of entertaining my whimsy at the cost of my salvation.


Ash Muzzillo (she/her) is a 20-year-old writer residing in MA, USA. She is currently a sophomore in university where she studies Creative Writing of varying disciplines. Ash is a non-theistic, agnostic Satanist. She identifies with the gothic subculture, its music and physical/visual representation. Ash focuses her writing on feminine rage, religious trauma, life with chronic pain, mental health, demons, vampires, and all things dark and brooding. Her work ranges from poetry to prose, stream-of-consciousness to surrealism, speculative fiction to high fantasy adventure romance. Upon graduating from university, Ash hopes to pursue an MA/PHD in writing and literature, as well as publish her longer works and expand her writing expertise.


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