He's been shadowing me for the past year,
I hear his footsteps somewhere behind, ringing
like a stick across the bars of a cage.
I stop. He stops. The city holds its breath.
Wind drops a newspaper from its fist.
Pages skitter across the sidewalk.
And I start walking again. He fills the
vacuum behind me. We pass a cop but I say nothing.
This threat cannot be classified.
Crowds of theater-goers are useless too.
They only know drama when it's on a stage.
I glimpse store windows as I hurry by, each
offering a little of me, and the suggestion of him.
There's nothing clear, a curl of cigarette smoke,
the outline of maybe hair, maybe horns.
I'm trying to outdistance him. But where am
I going anyhow? What if he's the end of my journey?
I run for a few blocks, past the First National
Bank, the fire station, Ernie's Breakfast Nook,
all the places shut up tight. He doesn't have to run,
just rides my draft until his breath flutters
the outer hairs of my neck, my ears..
I long to scream out, "What do you want of me?"
But what if that's what he wants of me?