Footsteps in the Hall

A blue carpet ran the hallway. Right outside my door and became a deep white right outside my door. There was a table at the end of the hall, near the end, pressed against the wall. And then a window with glass. I ventured out only in quiet and I could stare at the famous portraits — painted, pointed into corners of rooms I’d never visit.

Sleep was troubling. My hearing was excellent. Great leather shoes padded by, black, brown, or in bright colors and if one landed on my tail, then. The other enemy, my rival, really, perhaps, still: the vacuum. When the lights were down. 

My hearing, the arguments, the details, the clicking of pens, the folders cutting against each other, a reptile ghost. I have never seen a snake. I have never seen a cat. I have seen poison — a long metal needle searching my home. But the details, the arguments outside, they were so deep and rousing and I thought the men and women performing them would become churches or chimneys until one day they were gone, and I found the hallway a plank into the blue sky, and I went out through my crack, there were no shoes, no vacuum, and then there were shoes, alone shoes, solitary shoes, two — giant black shoes, glimmering in audition for the snout of a wet horse, and the man inside the shoes was pacing. Yelling. Tapping his phone. He slipped to his room and the television — I could hear him breathing, still. The television argued. But all was quiet. And I went to the end of the hall and peered out between the glass and bars. The moon shone on the lawn, she sent vines through the garden of roses.