The Missing Person

Angel's Flight, Vol. 7.2 (1982)

Amy Reynolds

Knowing of secret exits, trapdoors, fake book
shelves opening on unlit stairs, you make your
disappearance, leaving only the evidence of 
retreat, of your Moriarty act: a few breakfast
crumbs and a smeared thumbprint.  Mugshots were
unhelpful.  You were disguised or have no record.
Neighbors say you live quietly.  No newspaper
drift on the porch, lights turning on and off
regularly.  Smiling from a distance you make
them believe the blurred outlines.  They could
swear they know you well.  But at my knock you
slip mercury sly into empty closets or up the
fireplace or watch me as a melting coffee
table stain or a formless shadow, a disturbance
of air ruffling book pages aimlessly by the 
window.  Others produce ransom notes cut from
the Times, scrawl renunciations in red ink,
make tearful collect calls.  But you have
perfected the art of the painless get-away, leav-
ing me clueless in the dark, too flesh and
aching bone to follow.

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