There are eyes in the shadows
Gold and filled with black moons,
Black like an eclipse
With the sun radiating behind them.
These are not eyes you see;
These are eyes you feel.
Oh Lord have mercy,
For I fear the shadow of death.
It begins as an incessant drip in the back of your mind,
Like a leaky faucet
It builds into a stream of cold water
That runs goose bumps down your spine
It builds, it builds
Till Egypt’s cursed ocean is pounding in your head,
Your heart pounds, rushing
Blood to your head,
Like red waves against
A cliff in a storm.
You try to hear past the blood,
Senses straining for sounds
You fear to hear,
Fear not to hear.
The padded footfall behind,
The creak of a limb above.
You do not hear any sound.
You do not see any shadow
Slinking between trees.
You do not smell any primal musk.
But the back of your neck pricks
And your spine,
Your spine can feel those eyes.
Don’t run, your momma said
Just stand tall, make yourself big.
But the dark trees deny your proud stance,
So you walk with shoulders hunched
As if expecting
A blow from above.
Don’t run, your papa said.
But each muscle is tight
Like a bow, ready to fling you forward.
Your heart churns like a steam engine,
Ready to supply your legs with blood
Holding myself back
Is the hardest thing I ever done.
Cause you can’t outrun a cat, no son,
That big cat gonna run you down.