Plague

1 May 2018

i)
Walking in white socks,
you watch the black dots jump
and stick, trying to feel their way
to where the blood is easier.
Somehow they don’t sting
and pinching them doesn’t crack,
instead your blood is there
on your fingertips and their legs
keep wriggling. It’s been
a half-formed day, overcast
with fire-smoke and no change,
the wind still blowing strong easterly.
Under a microscope, every part of a flea
is visible, even the sucked out
parts of you. It’s a waste,
the time spent calling images up,
trying to know, when the answer
is a can let off on a sheet of paper,
an hour spent vacuuming up the bodies.
Imagine being able to jump
twenty times your height,
and suddenly finding yourself
stuck to the ground.

ii)
Sleeping in the basement to avoid chemicals,
there’s a rustle over the din of wind,
a mouse runs across the floor.
Where there’s one there’s more.
There’s a desperation I’ve noticed
in my voice, that’s like that scrabble.
It can’t be bourn. I’m here to be alone,
away from listening to women talk to men
with high-pitched hostage gaiety
“please love me, let me love me, don’t leave me”.
In a plague there’s hundreds of you being born
and dying once food runs out
or when the whim of something bigger
decides it’s had enough.

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