Monday, 5 August 2013


Her questions reek like the bottom
of a stale coffee jar.
Is this for yourself?
She meets my eye, yawning,
hair bright as a bowlful of lemons
and tells me to take a seat
with the others, faces blank as planets
and waiting like hungry children,
soothed by candy-bright capsules
that will heal us quicker than Christ.

A handful to settle her nervous tic
and her husband, wrapped at home
in a makeshift deathbed
gorges on daytime TV—
not water to wine
but veins plump with numbing miracles,
big words, serotonin—
his grey and mushroomed brain.
A tear pearls on his nose.
He rattles his pills like a baby,
wails for something to drink.

Rain blisters and bursts on the door.
A name is tossed like a sandwich-crust
as I wait my turn, eye the cool blink
of glass bottles, elixirs,
bored pharmacists
diamond-mining the shelves
for the perfect cure
to rock me to sleep at long blue last
on the train slipping down through my spine.

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