Like a muffled metronome
behind me, there are footsteps walking—
much too close. I cross the street,
because it must be me they’re stalking.
But the cadence of the feet
in iambs on the dim concrete
comes closer, closes in, repeating
in my ribs: my own heart knocking
and outrunning me—a clock,
its hands quicker than feet. It’s beating
time, a tuneless shadow locked
inside me, where I hear its omen
sure-footed and close to home.
Deborah Warren’s books include The Size of Happiness (2003, Waywiser Press); Zero Meridian (2004, Ivan R. Dee), winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize; Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008, Evansville), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (2017, Routledge). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review. In 2021, her book Strange to Say: Etymology for Serious Entertainment and her book Connoisseurs of Worms are forthcoming from Paul Dry Press.
Also by Deborah Warren (see all)
- Lycanthrope - October 27, 2020
- Closer - October 27, 2020
- Everything is Light: Frozen Charlotte by Susan de Sola - February 8, 2020