PURSUING MOODS

To Tracey Hilkey

Written by Christopher Stolle

i hear footsteps following
me
or maybe i'm following them
but in the early morning,
when everything is

quiet
and it seems no one is around,
there's enough aroused to scare
me
into believing it's afternoon
and i should be

somewhere else, doing things
normal
people would do in the later
stages of a day, but instead
i find myself keeping watch
on a world that won't sleep

alone
because in the flickering
night sky, this planet makes
love
with various massive bodies
that float in its atmosphere
and still, and still i

listen
for those footsteps to remind
me
that i cannot escape
from being followed
and i cannot stop following

someone
although i do not see anyone
there's no touch, no voice
and there's just a sound
trying to tell me something
about this path i take, about

myself
and how it cannot be sane
to wander blindly behind
invisible footsteps or realize
footsteps
are walking hand in hand
with my tracks, with my

frustration
that swells in my feet,
that lingers in my face,
that travels through my
tunnels
to seek that shimmering light
but i cannot

cut
myself to let blood force
out my indelible hatred,
to taste an inner freedom
that gropes for an opportunity
to feel like a normal shadow

walking
in front of the pack, not behind
where footsteps rattle the staircase
and i am confident, in rare form, to
shout
for someone to step forward,

reveal
that he is that constant in my life,
this imaginary friends i've spoken with
since i was seven, since i
fell
into desperate hallways inside
school buildings that helped trap

myself
within my invisible cosmos,
where words on paper gave me
shelter
gave me something to savor
when underestimated forces

swallowed
me whole, to digest me inside
their stomach tract where i found
myself
surrounded by people without faces,
without voices, without any markings to
distinguish
one person's fears from another's
but we felt safe, we could share

feelings
with just words written down
and when we finish this digestive
process
we can, i can again hear footsteps
made by an imaginary friend
or some wingless guardian

angel
that can comfort only through
telepathic means, that motivates
through photosynthesis, needing
nothing
but someone to believe in them
and i believe in footsteps that guide

me
to somewhere that i can feel
secure with my voice, my face
and with those scars only
i
can see on the membranes inside
and i'll secure faith in what

spirituality
rests, or works, in my poems
because that's where my happiness
waits
for me to take control and forget
about footsteps that lead, footsteps
that follow me endless journey

nowhere
because the best footsteps
are those i strategically,
those i confidently place for
others
to examine how i paced myself
in trying to deal with everyone's

footsteps

April 2, 1998

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