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Feb 2019
They had faces and bodies when I was young,
and they were rare -
Maybe once a year, a joke would be ruined
by a walking sneer,
my unselfconscious laughter curdled
by their pitiless scorn.
But, young and sure, I'd bounce along,
leave them forgotten,
and look for the good.

Blessed to expect
that people were kind,
I unshackled them,
disembodied the derision,
unhitched them
from reasoning, living beings

Left them free to gather
in geometric clusters
lurking on the edge of sight
like burning after-images
of a cruel sun

Wordless, sightless, lifeless
empty, ******* spaces
glimpsed with a shudder
on the best days -

gathered in consumptive clouds
on the worst.
Unseen by my companions
they eat my ability
to explain or expel them.

They are there
if I acknowledge them
or not
and in time
they make a nothing
out of everything.
Alan McClure
Written by
Alan McClure
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