“…a greater weight in the region of her heart.”*

 

Gathered together beneath the clear plastic canopy

of a deformed & leafless tree,

the elderly & the mentally inadequate

stand & wait in the 12:30 rain

of a blue-grey Summer without sun.

we are

the intricate accidents

unfolding within the periphery of your vision

The number 52 bus arrives,

& leading our small procession of damaged people-things,

is the Carer attending to his temporary children;

careful to shepherd them safely to their seats

he fails to notice me & gently we collide…

this man is in possession of the happiest eyes

& the saddest smile that I have ever seen

He says:

“Sorry! Sorry, sorry.”

as if it were his life’s refrain.

I say:

“No, no, it’s fine…”

but my mumbled reply doesn’t reach him,

his concentration is for better things

for the people other people

secretly wish were not there

to see…

because the broken things bear witness to an unbearable weakness;

 to all of the ungracious, hidden little pieces within us:

they are the uncanny light in the eyes of other Apes,

they are the inevitable smell of piss & the trembling lips

of old age,

they are the mucus that runs down your philtrum

when you cry.

We are the flat & hollow sensation of every planned occasion that has failed us.

The number 52 bus returns to movement,

& before I fall into my seat, before he spills into his

there is between us a silent, complicit pact:

a pathetic, futile, beautiful act

of defiance

against the endless,

fucking desperate

tragedy

of living as an animal

haunted by words

in a world that

will

not

care.

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

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