Words on the page
have that embossed look
late at night
sleep deprived
don’t: fall into the
soothing wheel motion
this is a well-executed search
a trying to coax back
the escaped prisoner
in some sketched out
hope that they will
return without the
need for those
cold circlets
and scripted words
halogen searchlights
pick the body apart
burn the secrets in
bright hydrogen

think that everything
looks clear in monochrome
the stoplights and neon sighs
are half-cast in grey
invisible to the speeding car
the prisoner says
‘I am not these
things I do’
which is no more a lie
than the place you
build to hold them
crush with convenience
all walls and floors
in easy reach
no place to
unfold the phalanges
in a gesture that is
the opposite
of beckoning

hold the lies
over their head
let each fall
like a water drop
in perfect steel
sharp stalactite

the identity is a shroud
the birthplace is a lie
history a mesh of
names & numbers
leave traces, cooling isotopes
refine worthwhile skills
the ability to spit
the ability to lie
the ability to leave
in the centre of
something smoothed
and rolled
and shaped and placed
like a prayer
a joke


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