The Bandit
by Chuck Kramer

My face is a mask,

concealing my diseased heart,

protecting you from the virus

of my need, but it can’t hide

the hunger in my fierce,

blazing eyes as I lie and flatter,

luring you unconscionably

into my tangled, snarling web

where I will bare my fangs

and consume you to save myself.

PHOTO: “Men’s Spider Web Venetian Mask” found at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Love is complicated – sometimes fulfilling, sometimes destructive. It always bares one’s heart and soul, making a mask a near necessity.

KRAMER 1 copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chuck Kramer is a native Chicagoan who’s taught reading and writing in Chicago’s public schools. A poet who’s slammed at the Green Mill, his work has been published in Stray Bullets (an anthology of Chicago street poets) and numerous magazines. He has worked as a public relations writer, a freelance journalist, and a theater critic. Links to his poetry can be found at