Saturday 26 June 2021

'Abutment' by DM O'Connor

I don’t know if death is freedom but waiting for it ain’t. Imagine yourself inside another. Imagine a bridge, left half-built, abandoned by civil engineers, rusted by promise. The check’s in the mail. Even excuses grow extinct or gills. You forgot the password account number had a bad connection didn’t want the bridge built anyway. One should not stand close to edges. One should subvert shame. One should forgive all wobble.

Stand in the shin muck. Say it’s a Sunday morning. Mass bells clank from the village steeples, guppies suck hair, you’ve brought a picnic, a rod, a loved one or two or you’re alone back to abutment floater bobbing, not a bite to worry about—and, there always is an and—you eye the arch, a story, anything to gain purchase for the climb, which seemed a cinch last time you were here. Not for the first or last time your mind and body separate. Yes, there is a troll asking for a toll. Yes, he’s ugly and always male and hard to understand doesn’t mean well. You think you are being tested. Why do you say this to me?

That support presence behind you has sunk. Sandy bars shifted. If it was only money, we could bridge banks, throw a dance party, savour jabber, shoot the breeze, evolve properly.

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