a step in walking or running
But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft
tread of rubber heels.
a series of underground tunnels occupied by rabbits
warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.
pelted windowpanes running down the charred west side where the house had been burned evenly free of its white paint.
an outline of a solid object as cast by its shadow
silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn.
the mental state of being obsessed by something
How carefully it had inquired, ‘Who goes there? What’s the password?’ and, getting no answer from lonely foxes and whining cats, it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old-maidenly
preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia.
army unit smaller than a division
Delicately sensing decay at last, the
regiments of mice hummed out as softly as blown gray leaves in an electrical wind.
reveal its presence or make an appearance
manifested on an oaken bench with egg-salad sandwiches.
Animals took shape: yellow giraffes, blue lions, pink antelopes, lilac panthers
cavorting in crystal substance.
move back and forth very rapidly
Over this ran aluminum roaches and iron crickets, and in the hot still air butterflies of delicate red tissue
wavered among the sharp aroma of animal spoors!
tangled in a dense mass
There was the sound like a great
matted yellow hive of bees within a dark bellows, the lazy bumble of a purring lion.
a mechanical device that blows a strong current of air
There was the sound like a great matted yellow hive of bees within a dark
bellows, the lazy bumble of a purring lion.
a quick succession of light rapid sounds
And there was the
patter of okapi feet and the murmur of a fresh jungle rain, like other hoofs, falling upon the summer-starched grass.
an open recess in a wall where a fire can be built
In the metal stand opposite the
hearth where a fire now blazed up warmly, a cigar popped out, half an inch of soft gray ash on it, smoking, waiting.
quivering as from weakness or fear
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in
an odd or fanciful or capricious idea
Robins will wear their feathery fire
whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
any of the larger branches of a tree
A falling tree
bough crashed through the kitchen window.
a liquid substance capable of dissolving other substances
solvent, bottled, shattered over the stove.
a floor covering
But the solvent spread on the
linoleum, licking, eating under the kitchen door, while the voices took it up in chorus: ‘Fire, fire, fire!’
something considered choice to eat
It fed upon Picassos and Matisses in the upper halls, like
delicacies, baking off the oily flesh, tenderly crisping the canvases into black shavings.
shell containing lead pellets that explodes in flight
The attic brain which directed the pumps was shattered into bronze
shrapnel on the beams.
a minute blood vessel connecting arterioles with venules
The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire, its nerves revealed as if a surgeon had torn the skin off to let the red veins and
capillaries quiver in the scalded air.
burn with a hot liquid or steam
The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire, its nerves revealed as if a surgeon had torn the skin off to let the red veins and capillaries quiver in the
having little elasticity
Heat snapped mirrors like the first
brittle winter ice.
lacking conscious awareness of
In the last instant under the fire avalanche, other choruses,
oblivious, could be heard announcing the time, playing music, cutting the lawn by remote-control mower, or setting an umbrella frantically out and in the slamming and opening front door...
And one voice, with
sublime disregard for the situation, read poetry aloud in the fiery study, until all the film spools burned, until all the wires withered and the circuits cracked.