She stood in the cool shadow, bare feet on the tiles, but she was not hidden. She watched the man rummaging in the kitchen, but he didn’t see her. She caught his feral scent but he didn’t catch hers. She knew this kind of man, though not this particular one. A man without himself, who looks for one thing and discards the rest. A fast runner instead of a slow one. She stood as still as the hunched fireplace, as if she, too, was built into the room. All he had to do was see her. She couldn’t make a sound, she couldn’t run, she did not have the courage to attack. But then the man held up the object and opened it, looked closely, sneered, and spoke to it. Old incisors, hungry breath. He turned and slid through the slash in the screen door he had made. Only when she heard the rumble did she tiptoe into the kitchen and lap water from her bowl.
Amy Holman is a poet, literary consultant, and artist currently compiling her second poetry collection and writing a thriller. She is the author of four poetry chapbooks, a collection, and a writers guide. You can find her at www.amy-holman.com.
A Song for Amy