By | 1 May 2020

It’s like waking up on the first day of a new century
having failed to drink yourself to death at an end-times
party. A failure that’s like waving goodbye from
the stern rail of a coal scuttle only to sneak back home
before the streamers have been swept from the dock.

It’s like a pain that arrives in the way an unwanted guest
might arrive, and stays indefinitely, and becomes
tolerable, lived in; like familiar, ill-fitting shoes.

It’s like pressing a pillow over the face of a lover
and then changing your mind, saying, nothing happened,
you must have been dreaming, go back to sleep.

So it’s almost like something self-inflicted as a distraction
with a razor blade, as if one hurt can assuage another
in an endless succession, like a vial of blood
reflected to infinity between opposing mirrors.

But no, it’s more like opening a parcel where the entrails
within are still warm, and the gift card is smeared.
As if the distinction between inside and outside
no longer applied. Like a heart worn on a sleeve,
like an open front door that is both an invitation
to enter and an order to leave.

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