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"The Main Road"

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The road should be clogged with servants
     on their masters' morning errands.
But today, I have space to run.
Teamsters should be driving ox carts
     to the citadel granary.
But today, other ox carts,
     black painted,
         haul away the bodies of the dead.
I follow the road
     around the terraced hillside
even as someone
     is following me
with maddening footfalls
     that only draw closer
     and closer
until I hear,
     beneath the step-sounds,
a flap of cloth
     and a rustling of . . .


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