Masochism

I’m hardly able to absorb
the titles dancing under neon lights
tableaus of paint, vivid and lazy haze
spread in loaves of sweet, coloured bread
for congregation

It is not before I stretch my hand out
trickle it slowly, reading with eyes of fingers,
down the soaring pile
or when a lady asks me
if I’m interested in gardening and decor

that I find myself standing
in an entirely different section
A 72-pt, Arial print-out
barking the secret in my face

I wonder if it were a veteran who asked
what are you looking for, son
would I have really told
nothing really, just thinking
of raisin ice-cream, sir
or how if a tow truck itself fell into the gorge
it would be like
the plight of democracy, sir

Fortunately no one asks me a thing
I’m that repulsive
Invisible, at least
especially to that girl
in spectacles and long summer scarf

I forgot to wear deodourant I reckon

but when do I not

When do I buy
from the book fair
or for that matter, the book shop
When do I ever

I just go there to feel
humble and small

 

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