The Tall Man’s Coat


The Tall Man’s Coat hangs on a door
Your door
The back of your door
The back of your bedroom door.
Did you put it there?
Yes you’re sure you put it there.
To keep an eye on it.

The Tall Man’s Coat is long and black
like a lamppost with a missing bulb
like a man without a head.
Are you sure you put it there?
Its buttons are large and round like eyes.
Its sleeves are soft and comforting.
You want to use it to cover you as you sleep but you don’t.
It is in your dreams anyway.

The Tall Man’s Coat does not covet your hands or envy you your feet.
It does not have designs on your head,
does not dream of setting your beautiful flesh-wrapped skull upon its soft black shoulders.
You are not afraid of it
you keep it out of love and never, ever wear it.

Where did you get the Tall Man’s Coat?
Did you buy it? Did you pay in blood or gold?
Did you receive it? As a punishment or a prize?
Did you find it? On a body? In a grave?
Did you meet the Tall Man?
Did you take the Tall Man’s Coat?

The Tall
does not belong to you.

The Tall
will be reclaimed.

The Tall

He lifts the Coat gently from its resting place, and puts it on.
You are jealous of the intimacy with which it becomes a part of him
it is more than a second skin
to him.
They turn to you,
the Tall Man and his Coat they turn to you,
and you are afraid.
You are not sure what you have done to deserve this but you are sure it was a crime.
In the morning there is nothing left of you
but your buttons.


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