Sleepwalkerby N…

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Sleepwalker

by Nathan Langston

 

Walking home

through a dark city

after the graveyard

 

shift, the old brakes

of garbage trucks

sing whale songs

in canyons of skyscraper.

 

Discarded plastic sacks

are spirited like doves

in circling gusts

around haloed street lamps.

 

No, not doves-

the ghosts of children

playing tag

in thin air.

 

This is the city

that never sleeps

but it sleepwalks.

 

Take this hunched,

toothless vagrant:

his cart, a museum

of rubbish, clattering

aimless blocks

in endless circles.

 

When he glances at me

I notice that his eyes

aren’t even eyes

and who’s he talking to?

 

Obviously, someone

who is invisible, who startles

the gatherings of cats,

someone with a scent

but no shadow,

someone made of memory

who hears everything-

 

The distant sound

of a human voice barking

at something unnatural.

 

And closer, a whistled tune,

off-kilter and eerie.

And closer still,

 

the cold clap of footsteps

on an empty street. 

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About psychopompkaleidoscope

Is a mortal who will not live forever.
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