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Just to Say

Just to say, in some other way,
With music in my ears,
And raindrops light as tears
Today, today.

The boiler abruptly stops, the dryer’s rumbling ceases.
The dishwasher sloshes to a halt, the microwave beeps and then.
Domestic silence finally.

With nothing to add, the shadow-dragging man wanders the cold nights. Closed hands in empty pockets, he wanders from street to street, always at their edges, as though following some plan to get himself out of a maze. But aimless is his agenda, and filling time is his mandate. The paths become carved into his skin, etched into his being, wound inside his soul. But they are strange to him yet as ever, and he must wander further still, for there is no comfort in the passing lives of others, and dark are the days as the edges yawn and beckon further into the shadows, where the high lights burning are not beacons but the eyes of beasts above. Slow too is the descent, and blind from its own progress, the gradient slight and gradual but constant. The eyes of the world can desert, and as they do they can no longer be seen. The reinforcement of daily being gives way to the disintegration of a self, and the memory of purpose is distorted. Every journey from door to door, every road connected to another, every end the end of some beginning. Thinking more and more, but feeling less and less, the shadow-drawing man is more sure and more real and more disconnected with every step away. Where did the plans go? How did the days leak as though through a hole in a bucket? Or like cider from a bottle, or blood from a fresh cut. Every mind must find its balance, and its own laws imposed can drive out the fiercest arguments. Feet on stone, moving so as not to stop, so as to keep the silence at bay by filling it with endless snippets and snapshots of the lives of others. Constant motion to soothe the turbulence within. But the dizzy patterns of his maps, folding back over themselves and projected inwards and out, lead on as though they had their own force. Now pushed, now pulled, now an impenetrable cellar of damp belongings, and a broken window that lets the November breezes blow sharply into his bones.

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