Howard Firkin
for Frank and Jill (and thanks for the meal)
I see you, shadow-lurker, dark thing,
hider in the murk, the reptile-brained,
the thickly scaled, ferocious, still, inert.
I see you waiting for me, cold and certain,
old as found in rock, a shadow in the alley
waiting with your cosh for footsteps
of a single, of a lone, of me, of prey.
I know I walk towards you now. I know
there’s no direction that’s away.
It’s going to happen then.
We both know how; I won’t know when,
but listen: I can see you, I can feel you, dark and ugly,
blood as thick as mud, as slow.
I see you and I walk afraid towards you.
Look me in the eye, you bastard thing.
I want to see you when you strike.
I want to see the mess that’s made.
I want to tell you: ugly.
I want to tell you something true.
I want to sweep my broken words
into a jagged heap and spit on you.