After Mutability

1 May 2014

Perhaps the best cells are the ones we can’t kill off,
a persistence of the fittest, although mutation’s
always painful. It’s two thousand and fourteen,
and I know no-one who has been
uninjured. It thinks in me,
this shadow. I put on sunscreen, and am surprised
to come in contact with my skin. In the same day,
I’m chatted up in a café
by an aspiring novelist who’s using boldface
and an ugly font, and the woman I pay
to tear the hair out of my legs offers a discount
because my skinny limbs
won’t need much wax. In the same day,
I watch a woman in pink boardshorts
hold out white bread
for a spring-loaded terrier,
an ancient cyclist on City Road with bubble wands
mounted on his handlebars, although they say
this place has gentrified: mutation’s
never simple. I dream my top teeth
splinter, turn to chalkdust in my mouth:
so I am in the world’s gaping jaw.

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