Found only in the fires of hell
For deeds both known and not yet known
Cursed and evil prone,
Thrust in fire’s spell—
Blessed in such a way is he.

As death approaches the walker
He finds friendship in a stranger’s embrace
Never pausing in panic’s place,
For terror is the fuel of the shadow-stalker,
Out in the streets of night, stealthy as they flee.

Police asleep in the past, on the edge of shadows,
Banned from home, he wanders through the misty sheets
Stained red by the neon lights of Manhattan streets.
God-cursed, hunting for prey among the throes
Of men asleep in dark debris.

The cloud-murk falls upon the early dawn
Doors of the city stay closed behind their iron braces—
There is only the journey ahead, ripped open in the spaces
He’s scouted, pacing as the world passes on.
He sees the many men who sleep.

By Frank Watson (c) 2022