“The Thing on the Corner”

“The Thing on the Corner”
© 2013 by Michael L. Utley

The thing on the corner
That squalid revenant
That only I could see
As my daily peregrination
Took me through the city
Past vulgar monuments
To capitalism and greed
Through roiling seas of
Soulless apathetic drones
The mindless rhythm of
The ebb and flow of futility

The thing on the corner
That filthy phantom
That caught my eye
And no one else’s
A sort of uncanny gravity
About him
That caused my pace to slacken
As if I were being lured into
Some kind of anomalous orbit
Around this peculiar specter
Just a tug and then I was free
To continue along my way
In my daylight world of
Noise and glare and stench

The thing on the corner
That wretched eidolon
That haunted my dreams
That stood in judgment of
All who passed before him
On this unremarkable corner
In this forgotten city of despair
The bastard kin of
Minos, Aeacus and Rhadamanthus
His throne a decrepit cardboard box
His shroud a blanket that reeked of
Age and disease
His crown a greasy scarecrow of gray hair

The thing on the corner
That defiled shade
That I can barely see as
I approach him
He is a mirage
A flicker and a shimmer
I squint my eyes as I stand before him
There is static, a signal dying
Over the expanse of eternity
An imperceptible howl from
Another universe
I reach out a tentative hand
And touch him
For an instant he is there before me
Vital and filled with the
Energy of supernovas
His eyes are alive and
Radiate truth the brightness
Of a hundred suns
He is real
He does not speak but
Only looks at me
For a moment
For a lifetime
Then turns away
And fades to

And the oblivious masses mill
Through the city streets like cattle
To the slaughter
And the city sighs
As anesthetic night descends

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