But The Truth is Something Altogether Different

She dreams in clips.
A music video; she’s walking beside a stranger she loves terribly, they’re in an amusement park and laughing, on a rollercoaster and gasping.
Reaching up to the swirling sludge-puppy sky.

The sharp jabbing beeps of her alarm shock her into the deep end of her room.

Left with nothing but a headache and time running out before her boss calls to swoon into her ear his concerns and constructive bullshit, she quickly and inadequately washes up, bites into a piece of last nights pie and has her instant coffee on the go, almost spilling the black liquid down the stairs.

The sun’s too bright, the streets too loud, the walk way too hard, her clothes too close, what she wouldn’t do for a nap right now.

The blur of faces at work remind her of that rollercoaster, that stranger with a red tongue, and the foreign smile on her own face.

She pokes and prods her cheeks – hollow tombs for the flies.

Maybe it all becomes a type of drug, the lies and the ridicule of the world, and you take it all in. It does its job and you piss it out, shit it out.

The Virus of life.

Be Happy.

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The Stench of My Middle Finger

All day my middle finger does a job

Keep a hole open while my colleague extracts valuables

When the job is done and I remove my middle finger I know the next six months will be stained by a stench which sticks with me tirelessly

The job pays me three months worth of labour and I come back every time because I have to

The doctor said I run the risk of passing this horrendous smell onto my unborn child

I haven’t told my partner

We already have a two year old daughter and she’s developed an allergy to my middle finger; so has my grandmother — who looks after my daughter during the dreaded months

I’ve been saving up and hopefully sooner than later I’ll be able to find a way to use all of this money to stop the smell

***

The hospital had to be cleared after the arrival of my first son

My partner and I haven’t stopped shedding tears

We sit on the other side of the plastic room

His little body oozing that all too familiar odour

But, ten times stronger, an entire ward is Under quarantine

I’ll need to work more shifts

Something I’ve never done before having feared what it would do to my middle finger but for my child I’ll do anything

So stressed my sense of smell has gone anyway

Maybe they’ll find a cure
Or is it remedy
I don’t know

Got to keep on. What other alternative is there any way?