Terror Is

By Caleb Nelson

Terror is the young Hydra your neighbor keeps feeding.

Terror is the rabid bat in your bedroom.

Terror is the needle in your daughter’s night stand.

Terror is the tumor metastasized, a social worker planning your funeral.

Terror is the chambered bullet.

Terror is the eyes of a fiend in the darkness.

Terror is the hungry pit bull on the corner.

Terror is broken glass under foot, your baby sobbing.

Terror is your baby taken.

Terror is your uncle’s car exploding.

Terror is bombs blowing up around you.

Terror is teenagers with machine guns.

Terror is famine.

Terror is plague.

Terror is daddy drinking with his Glock on the dresser.

Terror is the theistic monomaniac, the suicidal slayer who wants his spirit to live on.

Terror is the byword of the kamikaze, but let's not forget that a suicide bombing is still a suicide.

Caleb Nelson worked as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AE3) on F/A-18 fighter jets, deployed to the Persian Gulf on the USS Truman, 07-08 with the U.S. Navy. He earned an MA in Creative Writing from UMass Boston in 2015. Now he organizes free poetry writing workshops for military veterans in Boston, and manages