Ian Crockatt

Scared footsteps in the dark. How like immigrants
we are, shrinking into our spines
when the town dogs bare their teeth. Then light
breaks through like a cop from the cold
and we hurry to shake his hand
but it turns to a claw — we see how his face
is beaked, steak-tongued, fume-breathed,
and his eyes mill suns like tunnels
in the vaults of a bullion-store —
golden, steel-walled, nerveless. High,
high in the cranium's sky a spotter-plane circles —
we crouch like recruits in its windowless corridor.
Will we jump? Pass out? Implode?
Scared footsteps in the dark. Every nerve roars.