Swoop: 4

The night was darkening.

He said to me,
"She’s my girlfriend,
look after her,
she’s scared of walking home alone,
walk with her".

With these words,
my madness flew.

So I walked with her,
and she talked,
she talked a never–ending harmony of fear.

And there was something of these darkening streets,
something of the light
too weak to illuminate where my footstep rang,
illuminating nothing.

And this darkening infection,
it was invading me,
it was riding on her voice’s chattering fear.

And I rode as though my undefended self,
a reeling self, looked up,
and saw the claws of madness dive,
a dive to snatch existence,

as we walked along the darkening.

I fought,
for an hour,
I fought.
I gave my sex
to stay.

And had I lost,
had I fought the easy fight,
who would I be?

poem

97-99

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