Walking in the twilit woods,
thrashing through tangled thickets,
tree trunks interlocked with falling leaves
in the deepening gloom to obscure themselves;
trees, leaves, sky,
failing light and my footsteps.
Back in the false glare
of a mirror, I found
a swoop, scuttle, screech and squeak
etched on my forehead; and I thought:
How could it have slid off me then —
the pounce, curving claw, red rip
and the shrinking flesh?
Had I a heart then,
or was there room for thought only?
— Now the thought of thinking itself
knifes cold as the kill —
I had heard it happen,
without a second thought.
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