4 + 18 = 5
Gerald awakens to a shrill alarm
Gouging out his eardrums at 4:30 each morning
Rousing from a delicate slumber
He slinks into the bathroom to prepare his wan body for the day.
Rose arrives from work at 7:30 a.m. as she does six days every week
Like an invisible shroud of gossamer her soulless fragility moves
Without disrobing into a tiny room filled with a single bed,
Nobody is watching. It’s OK.
Dexter joins his mutant fellow travelers into lives of traffic
That daily sneaks its way through small streets and tall buildings
Until he reaches a super human destination of scurrying ants
Who flag his 3-minute lateness on a central white board for all to see.
Olivia’s doze is shocked upright against the mad road drilling outside
By men, usually, who leave their homes each day
To dig and burn roadways together so traffic flows to feed the beast
Of other people’s lives and lost consciousness unbound from living.
Meanwhile, Lamin toils in Banjul preparing his fourteen children
To don their lowly rags in preparation for their 16-hour long day
Begging amongst the withered other walking dead on their shrunken streets
While his elderly family members surround his edgy wife to know their daily chores.
In a world of eight billion fraught human beings
Incivility, indifference and what may be perceived as cruelty
Began living in our midst when Eve cajoled Adam to bite the apple.
And still, spacious single homes choke narrow passages,
Of mankind hurtling towards longing to live in four castles of dirt.
Destined to destroy
The marvel created
From the dust of stars from afar
The toil and tireless penance
Muted ones must suffer
To attain the daylight
Won by many, many deaths
And flags and wags of yore
Who told us to prepare
For a world of truth
And freedom and liberty
With messages from heaven
To tart up the daily grind
By market research and tainted data
So others might speak
With forked tongues.
The Rape and the Lock
The slick of crimson
He looked askance
Fulsome tides gathered
Vaginal blood suctioned,
Under the iron-clad Palmetto,
The hymen was ruptured
Evidence, no more.
How the rapid
Held by the slouching
In a balaclava
Held, held, held –
Locked in hush.
Abandoned – in memoriam.