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the Butchering
by jsenn

I felt
the tears burn behind my eyes
as ever so carefully
I asked the question.

Perhaps I knew the answer, but still
I had to ask.
Maybe, I thought, there will be concern
and care felt in the hesitation.

Confused and confusing,
confusingly spoken
staring unbelieving, listening

Asking why
searching for reason
knowing the answer will be certain.

Still I must ask
still I must seek
sense or peace.

Dawns the awakening.

Now it's done.
We breathe in slow motion silence.
Will you cry, I thought I heard you sigh.
I only imagined...

It began as a ripping
an excruciating rending
as the knife sliced downward through my center
carefully scraping my bones.

I wanted to wail,
such a painful motion this is
this tearing away of love
intrinsically woven
this cutting from the sinew
from the muscles, the very heart of my being.

Let it be over soon.

It's nearly impossible to stand
(I cannot stand)
It's nearly impossible to wait
(I want to run)
It's nearly impossible to stand and wait
for survival.

But, I do survive.
(we all survive)

Now it's over.

I rise tear stained

quietly turn and walk away.

Did you cry?

(I couldn't look)

Joy Senn
I wrote this in 2002 after watching a friend's delicate love relationship fail. Sometimes, when you think it's perfect it is not, and one must be severed from love. It is excruciating but necessary.

I sent the poem to argylekid and ask him to collab with me by creating an image to go with it. He's posted it here as Simple Truths (Thanks Brett)
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D disliked starting each day.  She'd rather
squander her time writing of dusty dreams
late at night by candlelight.  This bothered

F who loathed the part where father must wake
unwilling daughter firmly from slumber.
Her eyes remain sleep-stained until M rakes

a warm washrag across her face.  Brother
e, now a teenager who refuses
to capitalize his name, walks sister

to the bus-stop where B drives them to school
with a frown on his face.  J, K, and L
form her usual clique.  They chat until rules

force them to part ways when they'd rather stay
and gossip about H--though, i don't know
what they see in him.  G drones on today

about grammar (they still teach that?) until
even the bell is exasperated
and offers to sound in pity and fill

the halls with familiar hullabaloo.
On the way to her next class, D spots O,
her friend whose affinity for junk food

has left her with contours that even eggs
must envy.  They walk to Mr. A's class
where algebra awaits and students beg

for a reprieve to no avail.  D sits
by Q who likes math after a quirky
fashion (and likes D more but won't admit

it).  O passes D a note from across
the room that depicts A as a hog-beast.
They're busted when D overzealously

giggles.  Mr. A remains unamused,
probably because the joke has nothing
at all to do with math.  Lunch!  D assumed

she would sit with J, K, and L; but boys
S, T, and U have monopolized their
attentions.  She sighs and quietly joins

the lunch line behind X and Z.  The pair
disagree as to who was first, but I
settles it by skipping past them both, fair

and impartially.  Y serves sloppy scoops
filled with foods of dubious origins.
D looks disgusted and barely recoups,

her skin a green avocadoes would die
for.  She gives up on lunch and hopes nurse N
will take pity on her condition.  "Lies,"

says N who clearly wasn't born yesterday.
D dutifully doodles through science
and history, wishing the day away

as any dedicated student would.
P and R were unimpressed with her day-
dreaming in their classes (which they think should

captivate any child's attention for
the duration) and plan to hold parent-
teacher conferences.  D heads for the door

as soon as she can and watches reruns
of The C Show on television until
F and M (physically) force her to turn

it off.  She locks her room and she pretends
she were more like voluptuous V with
a glamorous job.  She writes and suspends

the night with unfair tales of how W M
could be and jots down her ideas, too new
to replace her previous dusty dreams.
I was Q.

[alphabet soup].[link]
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nonexistant poem number 2

I'll pull a line with
chalk and if one emotion ever dares to walk over it again
cut it into pieces
and glue it onto paper
and call it collage number three.Yeah , this is how it goes. I have learned to convert feelings into art before they even show my mind what could be wrong with me. Before they even try to change
the way that I perceive
this world
because because
emotions are better when thrown into
cans of paint and swirled
around with
a thick brush
size 20 or something . Just large enough
to make it drown inside the colours.
And now come on I do not .. want to hear any worried exclaims from the mother of emotions : love.
Because I have handled that one quite well , just a few weeks ago.
See my gallery ?
here is love. Crucified behind glass.
Kept safely on the wall with several nails.
Sadness? Just around the corner
you see that painting with the thick black border?that is sadness
so as you see
do not
stress yourself it is so so easy to manage emotions
I of course call it devotion
when infact the act of creating art for me
is to trap the emotions safely in controlled shapes
So that they cannot break out anymore
those glass shards
on the floor? are
no,no.Everything is alright.
You see my life life is art.
But I am not
the right battleground for the feelings to play around with shrieking sounds so I create artificial ones where my own feelings become the feelings of the viewer and isn't that..
isn't that the easier way?
I give the emotions away and let them stray around in someone else so that I do not have to feel them
Isn't that the easier way?
I'll give everything a shape
a shape to every little thing

to every little thing even if I
am afraid at night in my bed when shapeless somethings float around my eyes and I cannot grasp them I cannot ask them
for a short description.
Just some details so I can atleast imagine.
They like to play
with my unability to see
to really see.
Because the truth is I have never learned seeing.
I claim that I am dreaming breathing feeling through my eyes but most of the time I have them sleeping inside
my skull.
Sometimes when guests are around I
wake them up and say
stop your slumber for a moment and act as if you
observe flower petals real closely
And of course they don't know me. they don't know me so they will
place their hands upon their chest and says
you live
life to the fullest my dear
you really do
Someone like you must have absolutely no fear from what is next because
you'll watch even your own death with loving eyes , like meeting the shadow that followed you in sunny childhood days.. after years.
The truth is .. I do fear death.
I tried to trap
it on
that canvas you see two steps away but
something went wrong
something went wrong
the canvas remained purely white
I placed my eye upon it and tried to see
something but
I am sure there is an easy explanation
if not I'll paint one
All these years given away
to create a name that will be living for decades after me
in book pages upon your shelves
in the news

In everyone else

but not me

Too much "me" is not healthy for anyone , no?
so why not reduce it to nothing ?
why not hide it all behind images that are screaming, crying, laughing
out emotions
While the inside of me
remains a dried out ocean
from which the world
collects shells as souvenirs
and marvels of

Some months ago I ..
started having the feeling that writing about my emotions
was just a way to keep them from really having an effect on me
before I even experienced a feeling truly in a way .. that it got me and overwhelmed me I already caught it on paper, film or canvas.
not giving it any chance to come in the shape it wants.
to come in a self made shape.

This is however not really written completely out of my position.
I imagined being in the skin of an artist who uses art in fact as
a try to control what normally cannot be controlled
and imagined further on what confessions his tongue might make in moments where nobody watches.

so yes.

have a nice day or something

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This pencil is my spirited javelin,
more nurtured than a rock,
more caring than a spider of doubt:
I am a writer, always travelling.

See here, this open notebook without words,
all tangled in mind silk,
all threatening and bleak, shadowless:
how can I tempt the twists of thought to call?

How I feel the ache to grapple stories,
light a candle to talk,
encourage night to give up secrets:
I field the words like noble warriors.

Imagine stone-built kings enthroned in white,
Greek marble, and carved love,
entrap the beautiful characters:
I plague my little soldiers on the page.

I cast my artistry upon the world,
unfitting and unsought,
the battles to be fought are not won:
and the curved majesty of stars escapes.
For the "spirited javelin" I must thank *seldomseenthinker whose piece Gentle Cynic raised the idea in my mind.

This piece uses the following set of rules:

* Stanza intentions - 1: Pencil; 2: Paper; 3: Inspiration; 4: Story; 5: Divulgence.
* Syllable count - 10, 6, 9, 10.
* Rhyming Scheme - stanzas 1, 3, and 5 should have a pseudo end-rhyme on the first and last lines.

Yes, this was a practice piece that I found interesting to create, and interesting to read afterwards.
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I always said from the start no one could save me. Not my parents, not the doctors, not myself. I didn’t really want to be saved.
Four o clock in the morning, found lying on the floor of my bedroom, a breath away from death, with a bottle of pills scattered across the floor. So I had everything, or so it seemed to others. I just wanted to get away. It wasn’t hard to take the pills. All I had to do was think of everything that made me cry, everything they did to hurt me. No one would have missed me if I were gone..
Sometimes hell seems more inviting than life. Maybe life is hell

They got the phone and dialled. Flashing lights and oxygen masks.
My life dangling on a string.
            They fucking got me.

I woke up to the stench of disinfectant, and white reflective hospital walls. The room spun, and the walls closed in on me. I screamed and cried, no one came.
I couldn’t believe I was awake; I didn’t want to think that it had happened, I had failed the biggest test of my life. I never could do anything right.

Why couldn’t they have just fucking left me there!?

I took in my new surroundings with a sick sense of amusement. No curtains or blinds with ropes to hang off, and no long power cords to use as a noose. Nurses watched me take my pills everyday, and checked under my tongue to make sure I swallowed. They always knew when I was pretending. The shower was detachable and I wasn’t allowed to shower my face, in case I tried to drown myself. No sharp objects, not even the forks had a point.
I laughed every time I thought about it. Maybe I was unstable, but I wasn’t stupid enough to try anything when help was a hairs breath away.
There was still some rational thought left in me, I had the rest of my life to plan my next attempt out, thanks to these people.

The nurses all dressed in white, as if they thought they were angels. They scurried in and out regular as clockwork, like mice, never stopping to chat. As if death was contagious and I was trying to reel them in.
The doctors prodded me, made diagnoses and decided my future, and my chances. Seemed like a waste of time to me.. I wasn’t going anywhere. I was just an empty body, devoid of all thought and emotion. But I was like that long before I arrived there.

The hospital room became a cell; I even had a barred window to stop me trying to jump. All words were spoken softly, as if they were scared I would break if they raised their voices. I wanted them to yell, to tell me I wasn’t worth it, to say it would have been better if I were dead. I wanted them to lay on the floor having convulsions, begging me to stay alive, begging me to save myself. Any reaction other than calmness and indifference.
But they never did, every move, every footstep was rhythmic, and calculated.

A lady came to talk to me. She told me she wanted to be my friend; she wanted to know about me. She wanted me to play her stupid game. She could ask me three questions and I had to answer honestly.
The first to were easy, how old was I, what did I like doing in my spare time. The third question was what stopped me in my tracks.

”Why did you want to throw everything away.”

I gave her the coldest, hardest stare I could, dug up right from the bottom of my rotting heart. I didn’t like her games; she just wanted to get inside my head. She thought the same as everyone else - I had done it for attention, to see what everyone would think of me.
To see who really cared.
Funny, I already knew the answer to that.

She spent her time helping other people; she was always needed to make them better. She wouldn’t understand what it was like to never be good enough, to be constantly in the shadows, and reminded what she could be. I was nothing, I had been told that. I was too fat, too lazy, to stupid, to ugly. I couldn’t help anybody, I didn’t make anybody happy, I was an oxygen waster.
I knew what that felt like.
Instead of cuddles I got hit, or if I was really lucky, black eyes. Bruises and scars adorned my body. From their fists, harsh words from their mouths. No matter who held the blade, “they” were behind each cut, each severed vein. Every time I lay bleeding on the floor, I made them happy.
And a little part of me died.

She couldn’t even contemplate how much it means to be cast off by the people you love the most. The ones who are supposed to support you through everything, and anything. And love you until the day you died. I figured they didn’t love me when I was alive; maybe they would love me if I weren’t there. They’d be grateful I made their lives easier. I just wanted them to love me..

But some things just aren’t meant to be.

Time fades into nothing when nothing is all you have. Rainy days, drifting away as I sat by myself looking out the window, watching people walk by, free and alive. They had everything I never could. They had someone to come home to and tell about their day, someone to hold them when they were scared. They had someone who loved them.
I screamed, I screamed at nothing, I screamed to get me out of this place, get me out of my head. I guess it was reasonable they thought I was crazy. I wasn’t crazy, I was just mad. I needed to do what I needed to do, and all I wanted was to end everyone’s suffering. I was lonely, and I was alone.

Everyone wanted me to be fine, but no one really cared if I lived or died. At least they could say they tried. Written off as a hopeless case, she never really stood a chance anyway. The posters would be taken from my walls, the furniture burned, the paint recoated, until all traces of me were gone forever.

And people would cry, watch as my body burned, as my ashes were thrown into the sea. The photos would be put away, in a box for safe keeping way in the attic, and in time, they would forget.
I would just be that girl, who did a stupid thing, and didn’t really give herself a chance.

That girl who wasted her life on a bottle of pills, just to see what would happen.
No one would really give a fuck why she did it.

Blame the one who can’t speak out.
My original title was going to be
"White pills, white lights, white lies"
but it didnt fit =( .. thanks again to fez for his wonderful titles

it reminds me of the atreyu title - "living each day like youre already dead"

Comments welcome, just dont ask me where this came from.

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When does the ghost begin to fade and lay to rest the blame?
For I have haunted far too long these God forsaken ways,
And down the church, the rooms and halls so maddeningly still,
I wait for her to pass again, right through me with a chill.

And that is all and my full force falls short to turn her eyes,
She shudders when my ghastly form slips  through her skin divine,
But then she glides away as I stand stricken yet again,
The coldest pale that marks a man who lost where he began.

The bells now ring, the women sing, and God is on His way,
The clergy wear their finest suits, while by the doors they wait,
I drifted past the man erect whose face was somewhere else,
He never saw my shape or even glimpsed the way I felt.

Today we’ll have the finest wine and drink the wells till dry,
The silver plate will touch us all, and we will all comply,
Oh Hark, yes Hark, the angels sing for she has now arrived,
A princess in the whitest gown, the pure and fairest bride.

And now begins the ritual, the damned futility,
The calling of her name and yet she never looks at me,
Before we die we never know the pain of standing by,
I wish that I had never known her warmth, her touch, her eyes.

The song has now reached its refrain, the chanted line, the crest,
And I don’t think God ever came, despite what all was said,
The Pastor stands to speak the praise of his accomplishments,
“We captured God today my friends, He’s ours, we own Him hence.”

The clapping now abates; the cheers subside to some degree,
I glance across the meeting hall to find her eyes on me,
My God, dear Lord, how could this be, she turns as if she’s seen,
Yet tries to hide the roses now that blossom on her cheeks.

I rise, I run, and laugh with joy, up through the aisle rows,
My God, dear Lord, how could this be, I think this time she knows,
And passing through the final seat I reach and touch her neck,
She shivers with the slightest move and pulls her jacket tense.
This work is the first real poem I have written in a long time and I feel a bit rusty. I had forgotten how wonderfully therapeutic writing poetry can be and I felt a great deal of release as I wrote this piece.
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i sink in one foot at a time
with the same anticipation
i would have while stepping into
the shadow of your naked body
if you were standing in front of me

i submerge myself
in the depths of lonely night
water hot with the scent
of your breath
if you were breathing on me
instead of the steam that
pricks my skin
and rises like your
face above mine would
if you were here.

i lay back slowly
letting it run through my hair
as your fingers would
if you were here
and it rises past my shoulders
drowning them in streams
of heat as you would
with your tongue
if you were here

it encircles my breasts
where your tongue would paint me
swallows my nipples
where your lips would embrace me
fills my navel and pours over
my waist sending pools
down between my lips
where you would part me
if you werent apart from me

i let the water hit me
where you are missing
let it bead up on my skin
and gush inside me
the space you would fill
with your electricity
heat and fire
if you were here

i arc back in dream and pulse
sending waves through this
flooded vessel
moving forth
with moonlight-speed inertia
illuminating my body
with candle glow
as you would with your
gift of nirvana
your love shooting
through me with
the power of ocean tide
tumbling tsunami
if you were here

water displaces
never replaces
energy is neither
nor created
but is moved through me
with molecular mobility
where you will
someday sail in
and embark on my shore
displacing the water
that i need no more
well? what can i say? *blush*
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It has not been so bad here -- warmer than home and they call the place differently than we do. You know how we always said Mizzery?
They call it Mizzera.


Dear Daniel,
Auntie J and Uncle Agner have made the attic comfortable for me. From my window I can see hills fattening in the distance and the river veins away from them -- winds right through the pasture.

Tell mother I wear the cardigan she crocheted and no one can tell yet. Auntie looks hard, cause she knows I should be blowing up, but she's disappointed. She tells me eat right cause she wants her new baby healthy and she heaps enough food for two grown-ups on my plate; I eat as much as I can, but it all comes up anyway.

Give everyone my love.



Dear Ana,
Mother is still too upset to write; I hope you understand. I'm glad you're settled in.



Agner only owns the pasture,
he hasn't a breath of livestock
His job is on the road,
so I'm alone with Auntie
and the boys most days.

The phone rings
and we hope.
Auntie always answers, which I
like anyway. I hate being the one
so clearly desperate.
I can tell by her tone that it isn't Agner
and hope she hands it to me.
No. She waves me out of the room.

That was your mother, she tells me.
That's all. No secondhand love.

Dear Daniel,

It always begins and usually
it ends that way. The trees
I waste reminding myself
I'm not alone. When paper dwindles,
I uncrumple the heap at my bedside
and read scrawling after scrawling
of dear daniels. I flatten and stack them;
I practice a new way to write my name:
one that exudes confidence.

I lie flat on my bed
beside the sweating notes.
When drafts breathe through
I listen to the friction
of Daniel's name
on mine.


Dear Daniel,
My belly is rounder now, but it doesn't matter much. Uncle Agner's property is large and I can roam it freely without anyone ever seeing. A salesman came by yesterday and saw my belly; he blushed all bright, but Auntie lied and said my husband worked with hers and I was just staying with her -- being in a family way one shouldn't be alone and she can always use help with the boys. She's a good liar and didn't even touch her rosary after -- not that I could tell.

Uncle Agner was home for a week. I'm glad he's gone now. He likes to use his belt on the boys a lot. Dad never did much of that. I'm thinking of keeping the baby.

Please say something.

Much love,


I scribble out Please say something
and seal the envelope.
I have so much time to write and this is all I've said.


Ana, (I can almost hear this sigh he must've heaved in writing this)
How can you even think it? What's in that water they give you down there?

I'll hear nothing of it.

Write again when you've come to your senses.


How can I think it?
He'll hear nothing of it.
He won't say what I want to hear:
no affection, no apologies.
He never meant to hurt me.


Dear Ana,
Daniel told me what you said. You just remember that J and Agner have taken you in with the understanding that you'd turn that infant over to them once it's been nursed. You're not bringing that baby into my home!

We'd still appreciate knowing who did this?

You were always such a good girl, Ana. My only daughter, my heart is crying for the way you're broken.

Your Mother


I take these letters to the river.
The pasture is overgrown with thistle,
darn picky cows won't touch it so it thrives
and takes over, becomes so big.
So much of what no one seems to want.

The letters I send are supple
with my handling; theirs arrive
stiffly-starched, but I run
my fingers along the penmanship,
touch where their hands have been.
Then I let the river have their words:
it's strong enough to handle them.


Dear Daniel,
The baby should come any day now. I'm getting uncomfortable. Auntie has made some lovely buntings and bedding; the bassinet that belonged to her boys is waiting. I dust it off a few times a day, thinking it doesn't look clean enough.

I can't wait to come home again. Please tell me how everyone is doing.



Dear Ana,
We're all well. I'll be heading off to school in a few weeks; I got accepted by a college in upstate New York. I probably won't be around when you get back.



I hurt to know if my tulips
ever took to bloom,
but Daniel hasn't time for something
so minute.

Even the river is slow to swallow
this stiff letter.

Agner is home again;
he slapped me this morning.
I don't quite know what I did,
I just cost him so much
and am in the way.

Auntie has towels and washbasins
ready for the moment they're needed.
She tells me her boys came slow,
but one never knows.

I've been cramping all week,
but this morning it felt as if my belly
was going to pinch me right in two.
Then it went away, returning
in far apart waves.

I didn't tell Auntie right way,
just fixed breakfast and hid my pain
until she got busy fussing
over the boys.

My suitcase was small to begin with,
so trying to fill it with all I can think
of leaves it heavy and overstuffed.
Auntie's clean towels barely fit,
but I'll need them.

I write one last note:
by the time you read this we'll be dead

I haul my suitcase, myself,
and my ball-and-chain belly
across the pasture.

This afternoon is cooler than summer should
be. I leave my dress on a rock
and wade into the water;
the cold soothes.

I bear down firmly,
In a blistering burn,
my insides explode outward,
heating the river.

The strange heat drifts away,
but remains tethered to me.
I had thought it would waft away,
like a bad smell, on the current,
but it won't let go.

I reel the stiff cord in and haul
the strange heat-squirm
to the bank.

I stumble more than I'd think,
still leaking heat.
I sever it from myself and lay it coldly
on the ground. A little girl, I see.
She gasps and screams,
all covered with fatty pinkish-white.

I rub her clean with a soft towel
and hold her for a moment, trying
to summon the courage to carry
her back to the water.

Her scalp gleams with dark hair.
She doesn't look like me, I determine.
She looks like,
like Daniel.

She purses her lips and,
without a thought, I put her
to my breast. If she's to drown,
it will go like this.
A few years ago, I lived on the border of Kansas and Missouri. I only lived there for a short time, but honestly, I felt the strongest connection just being there than I have anywhere else. I identified more with the Missouri side, though I technically lived in Kansas. I've been working on this piece for quite some time now, and I really am proud of the way it's turned out.

Critiques and comments most welcomed.
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All I want to do is lay, spine pressed
to floorboards and have my feet look up
at his heart,

but it’s not a heart, really;
it’s more a spark plug
with heat that expands my pores
and lets him in
quickly, like a small explosion

on ignition. His words can cause a chemical corrosion
as he spits wet air at my iron eyelids,
folding vowels tightly in the creases
of my clenched hands,

I can scrub myself until raw,
pluck his letters out, like eyebrows
and scrape the rust from my cheeks
with a red-handled chisel
from my Fathers tool shed,

and I’m hidden in there, crouched,
with head bobbing slightly
above the windowsill. My ankles quiver
like the sound of ‘be quiet’
as Mum pegs out white towels and underwear
that used to match me

before he kissed my cheeks like the sun
and made my freckles rise
along with a new part of me.
Hungry, ugly --

and I keep buying new loofahs
to help clean myself up

but I still feel like Monday morning
every day of the week.

edited 11/11/05
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“How did the exams go?” he asks, a slight stutter in his voice betraying his excited, unvoiced line of questioning: ‘Are you leaving us?’

You try, unconvincingly, to say that they went okay – not that you could be sure, yet – and list all the work that you’ve done; try and prove that you’re not a waster, even though you yourself remain unconvinced.

As he speaks, he pulls you down, and you can almost feel his outstretched, grasping hands on you, as he teases you about your future career plans. You’ve grown up with this national aversion to success, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. But it still ruffles your feathers, makes you imagine the unimaginable: failure and a life spent working in this fucking cage.

His questions come to an end, punctuated by the emission of a deep, guttural cough, and he stands to go to the worktop, where he’ll prepare his lunch of cheap white bread and margarine.

The fifteen minutes finally draw to an end, and you stand – “See you,” “Yeah, see you” – and hurry to the shop floor.

You start to serve a customer, thoughts fleeing from the do-it-in-your-sleep routine, up and away to your dreams: a shattered storefront, bloodied faces, and flames dancing in upturned cars. Oh, for just a little chaos to eject us from this monotony! You want to slash and stab and fuck those you serve; spray their blood and lifeless, dismembered bodies over the wipe-clean white walls and vinyl floors in a sanguine sea: cleanse the world of their bovine complacency. And you do so, in your head, replaying the best bits again and again.

The barcode reader in front of you startles you, for a moment: a packet of Quavers doesn’t scan, interrupting the procession of beeps that had, until then, been in perfect synchronicity with the war drums thundering away in your thoughts. Through gritted teeth you manage an uncomfortable, red-faced smile, the group of young cattle you serve looking nervously on, as you enter the code manually.

Your Duty Manager looks a bit like a pigeon, you decide, as she waddles behind the counter to help you. She has a bad reputation among the others, but she treats you better than anyone else; or maybe you’re just more tolerant, you’re not sure. Soon, you have dispersed the queue together.

You exhale and offer a smile.

‘As the Earth spins around,’ she begins, unexpectedly and sounding flustered, ‘as the Earth spins around at 1000 miles an hour… we’re just still, aren’t we? We don’t notice it.’

You give a slight, confused nod.

‘We’re stuck in here, in this man-made machine, following the strict rules of those above us. But it doesn’t have to be like this.’

‘What do you mean?’ you ask

‘We don’t have to stay. We’re different, you and I. That is to say: different from the sheep and the cattle that surround us. We should be above them.’

You look nervous.

‘I know your secret,’ she starts, ‘I’m just like you.’

She ignores the customers that have now formed at her till and clumsily lifts up her shirt, unhooking her straining bra strap to reveal a small cluster of dark feathers that flick wildly under her uniform.

You nod, and walk out from behind the counter, to the door.

‘Come with me.’ You say, as you turn back.

‘No,’ she says, ‘my wings are too old. But it’s not too late for you.’

You stride out, ripping the shirt from your back. In an ejaculation of feathers, your wings reveal their full span, horrifying some punters outside, idly on their way to the supermarket.

It takes one leap for you to be airborne: and it isn’t long before you’re in the atmosphere, going 1000 miles an hour, up and away with your dreams.
Tales from a miserable worker ant.
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