By John Grey
In an inner-city block,
a woman is flopped on the bed
of a third-floor tenement,
smeared with blood
around the lips, the throat,
from within the walls,
shiny black and brown creatures
that squeeze through silent lips,
or drop into ear canals.
Elsewhere, the building is alive:
staircase trampled by never-ending feet,
room above, a cacophony
of arguments and chair scrapes,
an interminable coughing fit,
outside, traffic noise
and people going places.
The world is no longer her business.
The tiny creatures that cling to her skin
have more provenance than she.
Whoever finds the body
uncovers a colony.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.
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