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image book cover Sometimes in Winter by Conan Kennedy

C a r t o g r a p h y

I wake.
Someone has painted a map of Africa on the back of the door.
I wake a little more.
Someone has not painted a map of Africa on the back of the door,
It’s a dressing gown, hung there untidily the night before.
I stir.
A woman lies in the crook of my arm.
I am trapped by a stranger.
I am in that old joke where I have to chew off my arm
Lest she wakes before I escape.
She stirs.
It is not a stranger.
I won’t have to chew off my arm to escape.
There’s sunlight behind the blind
And no ambiguity about that.
A knife of it slices across the room.
Today could kill me, I realise,
Today could kill me just because it is any day.
A bus could mount the footpath.
I’d get into the Evening Herald, another ambition satisfied.
The heart could give out.
My ambulance could irritate hundreds of motorists
And turn the heads of pedestrians
To stare at the sound of the siren as if to learn, some more.
I see them, I was there, I was that pedestrian!
What do we learn from the vanishing arse of an ambulance?
That life is not a map of Africa
Someone painted on our door?


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