Waterstones (1)

I was standing right up there,
on the tips of my toes
up in the gods
up with the gods
with Aristotle
with Bacon
with Derrida and Descartes
when the Truth smashed its way through the roof
and floored me,
weak and insignificant as I am,
weak and insignificant as you are too.

I suddenly found that I was now
face-to-face with Zola,
level with the bottom shelf,
and fucking Voltaire
with my eyes
like I do to married guys
who sit across from me on the Tube,
usually with their wife asleep on their shoulder
after one too many pinot noir, her mascara streaked
after causing a scene in the street
about finding another suspicious receipt
or another failure to put down the toilet seat,
his eyes simply say to me, “I wish, I wish.”

The carpet of the bookshop was
kissing my cheek, inappropriately,
in the same way as all the other nameless strangers
sporting four days’ stubble that came before it did,
kind of sloppy and unwelcome, as I imagined that
as kiss from The Drunk Uncle At The Wedding would be,
and it was there
on the bookshop floor
as a lady stepped over me to get to the door
that I realised that we are all going to die.

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