Paranoid by John Grey

It’s the guy
under the street lamp,
blowing smoke up to the light.

Or that burly man
at the next table,
the one with the weary eyes,
but with the slow, deliberate
movements of a strangler.

It’s the flat, toneless voice
on the other end of the line
that says, “Sorry, wrong number.”

Or that smell
and who and where
it could be coming from.

And there’s someone
at the door,
fifty maybe.
heavy horn-rimmed glasses
and a purple-veined nose.

Strangers drift like tumbleweed
across a vacant lot
or are as tight as a vault
with the time lock busted.

They want something of me.
this list I’ve been compiling
is not it.

John Gray Copy
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

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