CW: violent death, suicide, murder

“Hang on,” you said eyes on
the rearview blue lights behind
mounting the kerb to let the
ambulance go by but my eyes
were drawn elsewhere clocking
the mound that lay out
of place on the concrete alone
on a street that’s always busy
a major crossroads and the bus
station suspiciously empty at
half past 3 on a schoolday
“Dylan,” I said  “what the fuck
is that?” and pointed to the pile
on the ground barely shrouded
in a bright red towel and you were still
concentrating on “where’s this fucking
ambulance going, I just pulled over
to let him past and he’s stopped
in the middle of the road now, for
fuck’s sake, how are we going
to get around this?” when I saw
bare feet so white and broken at
odd angles and his navy blue tracksuit
bottoms slightly too low and his shirt ridden
up exposing the small of his back and you said
“probably just an old boy fallen over
pissed or had a stroke on his way
home from Tally” and I said calmly “no
that is a dead body” trying to decipher
how much of the red is claret and how
much of it is towel and why is no one
with him then you finally looked to
the street briefly so briefly so as
not to know or not to get involved
and you said “uh oh not another
stabbing I hope” and that’s the
difference between you and I
because you were focused
on the traffic lights while I was running
up silent staircases with my eyes up
up to the sixth floor of the block
of flats that the body lay below and
I knew what I was looking for and I
wasn’t surprised to lock eyes on
the big square window devoid
of glass no curtain no pane
no latches no lover peering over
the edge aghast no colour no
view of inside just an empty space
and a man broken exposed alone
below alone totally alone in red
in red in shapes that hadn’t been
created until he made them with
his weight and all I could think to
say was cold he must be so cold
god he looks so cold it’s proper cold
today and he’s barefoot the pavement
stone must be so cold he looks
cold he must feel so cold
and you drove on around the
pointless ambulance and away
and what a way to go alone
in the cold ejected from a home
to become a spectacle on show the
barbers from across the road smoking
outside static cos they witnessed it
heard “a thud” they said and look at that
sick cunt videoing a shattered skull
and the one hundred or so folks on those
double decker buses finding themselves
privy to the end of a life no privacy no
respect no peace yet an accidental
spectacle more attention dead
than alive and mothers shielding
children’s eyes and two coppers
at the entrance of the building chatting
metres away from the man who lies there
exposed cold alone alone and nowhere
near him not a soul he lies cold and dead
in red in white unknowingly racking up likes
on twitter and strangers sharing
retweeting speculating commenting
omg soooo sad tragic was he pushed rip
i heard he was stabbed rival gang
thing probably Romanian or Turkish
proper sad init omggg tragic with
the angels now and i thought i was
having a bad day crying/ laughing emoji
and you driving and me shaking
fixated on the open window shrinking
quickly in the rearview mirror
and quietly saying “he must be freezing cold”
and you tutting saying “yeah what a shame”
tinkering with the radio volume dial sighing
your go-to response to anything sad
“ah well, never mind eh?” not noticing
my eyes running back down the staircase
out of the flats and to the ground
to hold the cold hand of a man who
understands what it feels like to fall



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