My Boyfriend, the Dungeon Master, at 6 Months Sober
By: Nancy Lynée Woo
Sixteen dice collide on a wooden table,
ice in a glass, sweating. The only viable
option is always through the dungeon.
Every time, there’s a moment when I think
we might not make it. Our gang lying poisoned
on the ground, Thorn riding the dragon
like a pony, stabbing wildly. The man I love
keeps sending all his goblins, dragons, spiders,
and small murderous plants at us. In a game
like this, we kind of expect to keep winning.
Still, if your character fails three death saves,
that’s it. You’re out. In our first week of dating,
he confessed he couldn’t stop once he started.
We met on a full moon in June and danced
like we invented tomorrow. He taught me
how to keep holding hands when we fight.
For a year and a half, I thought this time might
really be the end. When he drinks, the man I love
disappears. He lies. He yells. His eyes turn red
and demon-like. One night, he smacked my ass
a bit too un-playfully. It landed just hard enough.
Then, he bit me, like an animal. A well-trained
wizard, I knew what to do in that moment of combat:
first, flash the magic shield. At my next turn,
I set in motion a powerful ritual: vanishing.
I warned him, I could see the future. Wanted
a different one, raised my wand up,
spell prepared long ago. Dice hit the table.
Nancy Lynée Woo has been awarded fellowships from the Arts Council for Long Beach, PEN America, and Idyllwild Writers Week. She is the author of two chapbooks, Bearing the Juice of It All (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Rampant (Sadie Girl Press, 2014). She teaches poetry workshops called Surprise the Line and is an MFA candidate at Antioch University. Her work has been published in Tupelo Quarterly, Radar Poetry, Petrichor, Confrontation and others. Find her cavorting around Long Beach, California, and online at nancylyneewoo.com.