A Mechanical Alarm

That was not what I heard, not what I heard, the force of wind,

not the tall trees creaking as they bend, their branches

knocking, knocking on the roof and walls.

It was someone, the sound a secret thief makes

when he whispers in through a window he raises quickly,

steps in softly, but not soft enough, not soft enough,

for no one is completely quiet no matter what.

I am not bravest, will never stick my head in

a starving lion’s mouth or caress, caress some baby bear

under his mother’s observing signs of threat.

But I am quick to think with my heart, now

beating, beating to some heavy industrial metalesque

drum and bass body pounding number of the body pounding.

Forget the robe, I come down, down, glistering to find this invader,

will surprise him with my nakedness, my body still disarming,

disarming him before I make him wish with hard blow after hard blow,

he were stealing only things his dreams are made of,

home asleep in his own bed, naked and cozy under the down covers,

after praying the lord his soul to keep should he die

before he wakes, as I do, bead after bead after bead,

but not me tonight, not my future tonight,

not mine, not mine, not mine, not mine, not mine.

(Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, painting by Marcel Duchamp)

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