More dead than dying


When they throw you out at a busy crossing,
naked and bleeding,
you think, perhaps you might have saved yourself.

You clutch onto the guard rails
with the quaint delicacy of vision.

There are cars speeding by,
but your silence is untouched
like the little blue suitcase in the middle of the platform
that people are too terrified to touch
they simply do not care.

All around you
there are headlights whizzing past,
the pavements filled with the laughter of Sunday shoppers
and couples, hand in hand, emerge and vanish
inside the grey underbelly of mist and skyscrapers.

Amidst this game of careless pretence,
you lie bleeding and naked,
conscious of this festival of indifference,
your body having lost the power of utterance,
bears painful witness,
facing all the violent rejection of this world.

One or two stop by and then speed past
jeering at your nakedness,
others willing to help at first
have better ideas at the last moment,
cursing themselves for their momentary lapse of reason.

Of course, you’ve been drinking, you hear them say,
of course, this isn’t the first time,
they can judge by your clothes, or the lack of it.

A few passive, distant observers
are busy soaking in the theatricality of vision
capturing the moments for posterity
amidst whispered calls to the media.

Your feel the immense weightlessness of the city
surrounding you,
more dead than dying.

After death,
the last remains of the city,
filled with the casual mirth
and neon-lit laughter,
is a ghost without conscience.

You clutch onto the guard rails
with the quaint delicacy of vision,
until the laughter fizzles out.

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