The Mayor’s Official Apology, Sent from Isolation

I.

There was a body on the bed back home.

You scribbled grocery lists on the back of

one hand one morning,

and barely smudged it off by dinner. You learned that

it flinches at the drops of oil on the arms,

a blistered heel, the cuts you get from the glass you broke or

the glass she broke and

a trip to the sea and to the fair 

and the bus rides in the evenings. This was your body.

So you laughed them off, sewed badges over each,

and called them celebrations for the polis

in the making.

 

Later you complained about the lack of progress, but

bleeding is a part of growing up, honey

spoonfed until it isn’t.

Until you discovered that some of your wounds were not from tripping

the lights fantastic to the small sonata that resembles

everything but itself,

and the badges weren’t meant to patch them. In the fervor to survive

other things we rushed to fold the body in half and

carry it out through the cobblestone roads and half-formed

gates, the citizens be damned.

 

II.

The scars ache and reopen

underneath your sleeves from

time to time. You throw a makeshift nighttime over them,

and in your dreams are

light bulbs over your dinner, time ticking

down to the sound of glass breaking,

signifying your time to run away.

They weep and so do you.

 

There is a body on the bed in this house,

sitting right up,

its decay trivial and crushing all at the same time,

and resenting the fact that it’s yours,

the scribbles moved from the back of one hand

to the nerves.

 

Here is a list of things:

Tabs of headache medication, tucked safe

in another city.

The length of your hair, thrown away

in another city.

The need and the impulse dampened after a while. Still

you carried them

to another city.

 

Mountainside cities, seaside cities. The lack of space.

Take a rain check on the construction.

 

There is a body on the bed and inbetween

the frivolous throes and falling asleep, you

ask the white blood cells

why they work so hard to keep you alive.

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