Swoop: 5

She might have said:

"I do so love these fireworks,
sparkles of bright moment,
an insistence in the sky,
flowering.

Then the pub,
friends,
the usual walk home.

And a familiar stranger passes on,
his eyes clutch madness
as though it were an overcoat
in a bitter wind.

We slow,
we gather time around us.

Then, in a luminous dark
on the edge of lamp-post light,
a something on the ground
breathes.

It is that madman,
a man collapsed,
shivering in the summer night.

And his eyes open anger,
and the street light
loses the power to form.

And it seems to me
he has a need
to strike his agony out,
to find its poisoning heart,
but that dark agony, devious,
telescopes his sight away
to those who flaunt existence,
coincidence.

And I know
as a bigot dare not look inside himself
to see his source of death,
so a madman, insane, cannot.

So he attacks when his agony tolls,
and his agony tolls at us.

And in this tidal darkness
I hear him howl his agony howl, a migraine howl,
and my instinct grips my reason dead,
and I run.

But his howls retreat beyond the distance
to someone else's problem,
and I relax,
and I, alone,
I let my pride
walk me slowly home."

And this is what she might have said,
but she won't.

The bastard,
he:
me,
I had a knife.

image: poem

97-99

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