Swipe card

Down by the block where I once lived I’m lying down on the concrete that so many cars and deliveries have been. I am not really here but yet I feel a part of the history of this place, the old Jewish parts of the city, once hub bustle with horse saddlers, tram men and a feed station for the sweating sable. It’s true the sun shines less around here and it’s true I don’t get the sun, I can no longer feel it’s heat and balm. Stabbed in the evening of a Friday and in church boxed by Tuesday. Down by the Unitarian they gather in groups some are laughing and shaking each other, back on the ground a mile away I rise over onto my side, try to get up and stand up but there’s a man wondering how I am. “How are you?” – “I’m actually okay but I feel very tired, I think I may have slept on the ground here” – “you did actually” he’s smiling at me like a best friend, no matter the stupidity he’ll always be there helping you, defending. “I’m here to collect you” – “right what does that mean” I’m puzzled and he’s still smiling, around me the flowers of a large blossom have shed and the concrete is covered over with pink and some of my blood. Noticing a black stain around my waist and chest it’s sticky and uneasy, he’s not smiling so much anymore. “yeah listen we have to go, you can come back later but now I have to get you out of here, checked in”

He takes and shakes my hand and blurring away I’m blinded somewhere I’ve never seen before behind doors of a church almost familiar, but the lights are out abandoned and needing repair “I just need to give you this, it’s your card” – “for what?” he’s not much impressed, my particular penny hasn’t dropped “listen it gets you in anywhere you want to go but you know you can’t effect anything right?” I’m confused and lost in this one some strange hairy man has given me a hotel swipe card in a rush and the sharp pain is numb like a tooth out, I don’t think I like this at all and then it hurts me, it rages over me like the punch line ten minutes late. “no listen I’m not who you think I am, I’m a caretaker” I check the back of the card and it’s blank the guys gone like I knew it, ghost alone and the building empty. No procession to the throne, gates or tabernacle, just piles of paper as i stare around covered in names of those washed under or burnt asunder who begged for mercy and pardon. A small prayer that went nowhere behind a door that was once shelter from the weather but now is the exit to my simple demise and ever end.



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