Monday, October 11, 2021

Statement of the Moonlit Reader in the Shadows

No. It was not a ghost,
A lover, or a thief.
The shadow one of you

Saw slipping out the back
As you returned at night
Poisoned by jealousy,

The hesitant footsteps
The fearful other you
Heard climbing, then fleeing,

That was me, only me.
I was hungry and lost.
I saw your handsome home

Glowing in the moonlight,
And I wanted to know,
No more than the father

Of Beauty—just to know,
What was in that silence
And all those darkened panes?

Possibly to shelter,
Possibly, I admit,
To snatch some food and rest.

I could barely draw breath
When I found the back door
Unlatched and slid inside.

Where should I go to next?
The door opened on stairs
And I took a few steps,

But I heard a rustling
In a room above me.
I spun around and fled,

And as I left the house
I heard heavy footfalls
Racing from the darkness,

So I ran to the woods and hid.
I heard the one of you
From the darkness storm up

The inside steps. I heard
A muffled disturbance
From upstairs. I kept still.

A lamp was lit. A man
Started sobbing loudly,
Some kind of emotion

I’d never heard. Awful
Terror grabbed me and I
Moved on, far as I could

Get that night, then collapsed.
But now that I have read
All your testimonies,

I feel I need to leave
This message—I was scared,
A lost reader. I left.

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