The Invisible Man
He springs from nowhere onto the empty street
and walks across, then calmly turns and waits.
The hairs on my neck stand up as I face the prospect
that this is an interception aimed at me.
A dirty coat hangs from his bony frame
with matted fur that’s seen far better days.
I try to read his body language, looking
for signs of madness or malign intent.
I shun eye contact, fearing it might provoke,
but he seems unaware of my existence.
Is it contempt or am I unobserved,
like missing dark matter in his universe?
Trading on my presumed transparency,
and somehow knowing our parallel lives can’t meet,
I hold my course and see him melt away,
to leave the street as empty as before.
Unlike the Cheshire cat he goes head first,
into a garden dishevelled as himself,
his reddish brush the last thing that I see,
crossing the threshold of his private world.
I never meet that urban fox again,
but every time I pass the spot I feel
him watching from some hidden vantage point,
searching for who knows what, and looking through me.