Collective lock in

[This poem carries a health warning]

Scratchings from

the ‘party wall’

demented rats

they haunt

odd hours:

& the ‘boom’

of demolition ball

shatters early morning.

Two doors away

they build;

hard hats

yellow hi viz

discussing

sex lives

tainting

my morning

coffee.

I’m writing

in the dark

blind in both

eyes

out of control

cars, rev,

down roads

never travelled.

‘Us writers, a

solitary lot’

they brand us

as we blister:

peel apart forgo

free speech

worry how

‘woke’

our words are.

Dark scratching

party wall

rats’ bicker.

‘Our house

is not our home:’

nations rise

& crumble

lines in the sand

etched by strangers:

here immobile

in our beds

we die by

‘age number.’

Blind in

both eyes

my mouth is

shuttered,

I’m writing

in my sleep

screaming for

remission.

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