When walking the streets, I fear a blast will
Knock me down and stone race up to my head.
Or some thrown knife – a cleaver – takes a spill
Into the air – I see this coming – fed
At me by some unknown, lone malcontent.
The plan isn’t worked out: do I freeze, move,
Duck or raise my (left) arm? An event,
Perhaps, I need not prepare for, but you’ve
No sense of my awe that they don’t throw these
Dire utensils from hedge, window and wall.
Not that these are crippling neuroses;
No deep breaths are taken before a stroll.
They are purely waking horrors, at night
My head teems without violent misgiving.
(I barely seem to dream at all.)
So my eyes have nothing to thank the light
For when it coaxes me back to living.
But I thank those lids for sheltering me
From the night’s immemorial panthers –
Cats who toy with my mouse, melancholy –
And barring access to thought’s real dangers.
So you see, I’m a man without problems:
No demons, no dreams, stick their tongues in my ear,
And worries are other people’s golems –
Trifling as clouds in the next glass of beer.