Friday, February 5, 2016

HOW IT FEELS TO BE ME OUTSIDE THE COMFORT OF HOME

Skinless in Shoreditch

Dusty air clogs my raw flesh,
stinging shocks dart to toe-tips.

Some Norfolk guy behind me
boasts he's on the register.

Lit half-cigarette drops from
a window onto my head

singes through skull deeper and
stops just short of my brain stem.

Over-enthusiastic
Greenpeace activists and a dog

splayed with its tackle on show.
A tainted needle stabs in

the underside of my foot.
Pigeon-chasing brats throw grit

at me trying to stand in
a strip of shade but I get moved

for blocking a pavement sign.
Man-on-electric bike bays

and a shopper bangs my shin
with a trolley and a crazed

beggar spits at me and a
kindly suit presses 10p

into my crimsoning hand.
Felix like fire calls me a

wild card who's got my colours.
Sun newspaper on a bench

to soak up the morning dew
sticks fast to my saggy rear

of dribbly, broken blisters.
Tina in white beret

with her demon-eyed daughter
cast me the other woman

and click their mouths over me
as my heart vomits through ribs

clothing all in long-held-in,
poisonous pain.

by Gemma Boyd

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