It enters my days arrogantly
like the silence after the clap
of a judge's mallet.

I sway in the slightest breeze
across a field of wheat
awaiting the harvest.

It arrives when I think I'm safe
when I think all I am is just a spine,
strong, without a chest or a belly,
without a navel—
like a cellar full of food
stored for winter.

I hesitate for a second
ready to start over again
with a clean painter's palette
dark fingerprint in its center.

Then I set off on the same road
the end of which I know best:
a cold bullet bulging in my pocket
the one every good soldier saves
for the day he finds himself surrounded.