THE GHOST

"Another day another dime
And now it's time to sleep,"
Something he says all the time
As though in trance so deep.

Forget the men he killed today;
It was always for the best
He merely sent them on their way
Like cows to join the rest.

Only cattle that he saw shed tears
That wear their yellow star-shaped brands.
Some had been 'round many years;
Too thin, too sickly to be man.

"Not humans," he says again and again;
"They're rats that must be drowned."
He must tell himself this now and then
Lest he recalls that was truly crimson on the ground.

They were animals and nothing more
Without faces or even names
He always sent them through those doors
To meet their destined end in heartless flames.

He sighs as he runs his pasty finger
Down that emblem on his jacket sleeve
Yet still a biting chill does linger
And dares yet to never leave.

He forces back against the urge
To turn around and see;
This coldness that he cannot purge
Comes, in fact, from me.

I circle him, and he turns in chair,
Gripping pistol in trembling hand
I smile as he murmurs that I'm not there;
It's the only truth he cannot stand.

"You're not there," he says again.
When he stills I come around.
His trembling eyes find mine and then
I say, "That was my blood on the ground."

At his doggish whine I round once more
With a smile upon my face.
I take each step much faster then before
To match his heartbeat with my pace.

Again I give that gun a glance
Then that emblem on his sleeve.
A metallic click, an exhausted pant
Before he bids this spirit leave.

I shake my head, rejoin his vision
Then leap upon his chair.
I stand above him, hear his decision
Once again that I'm not there.

I kneel so that we're at level,
Elbows on my knees.
I saw in him the living Devil,
Now he thinks the same of me.

The weapon rises but I don't budge,
And he seems to know why.
Tonight it's my turn to be the judge
As it is this rat's turn to die.

He finally points and finds his target
Which I will calmly allow
The ending here would be his bargain
Perhaps the beast can be the judge right now.

He hears my words above a shatt'ring roar
And as the lights cease to be.
I say, "You've murdered me once before
But you will never, ever be rid of me."

-Gale