Eyes

Eyes

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

Drip

Something’s wrong

Drip

Something’s watching.

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

Oh Lord

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.

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Spring Fever

I am spring fever’s bitch.

I am wrapped around her middle finger

which she has raised in defiance

of structure and order.

I cannot stop her

from spitting in the face

of all my responsibilities.

When I sit down to work,

She bangs pots and pans in my head

and I can hear the sun calling me out.

She wants me to burn

in the sun

till my shoulders and cheeks are

permanently flushed.

It’s like a hickey

signifying her possession.

“She’s mine,”

Echoes the sun.