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I am a nobody.
A disembodied face
wandering the narrow streets of this city,
a constant in the alleyways of squalor,
a witness to everyday horror.
I am a nobody.
A normal abomination.
Civilized society’s aberration.
Seen yet unseen.
Child of the sewers lost in the din.
I am a nobody.
A ghost? Spirit? Monster?
No one could tell,
but one thing is certain,
I can inhabit any shell.
I am the undead walking
looking at you with red bloody eyes.
I can make you turn away
with derision or confusion,
and your conflicting emotions
leave us all, with nothing to say.
I am the unpleasant prick
who stabs you, in your face
with the savage force of truth
and you wonder why you are bleeding
as your heart constricts in panic
while I feel — nothing.
I am the gut-wrenching stench
that you cannot get rid of,
seeping out of the gutters
creeping towards you
with the fatal embrace of decay
making you sick
with a soul-numbing fear
that you cannot allay.
Look closely now and see …
the ghost
the monster
the unpleasant waif of reality —
the hollow souls of this city,
fleeting from place to place
in the darkness
under a bridge
in the smoky chambers
deep down a filthy underpass
in shrouded crowded corners
of boxed walls and pungent floors
in carved-out tree trunks
surrounded by patchworks
of tattered tarpaulin dreams.
Can you see me now?
I am the little girl clawing, reaching
for the juicy meat that you’re eating.
Or perhaps, I am that little boy searching
for priceless plastics and papers
worth an honest day’s meal.
Maybe, I am the old woman, hunched over
on some forgotten steps, begging for mercy –
the compounded interest
of century after century
of flawed democracy.
A broken soul, purloined
who now lives for the rattling of coins.
But I could be that man, waiting at the corner
emaciated but still acting tough
scrambling to call you a cab,
because if I’m lucky enough
you’ll toss me some dough,
but are those ever really enough though?
Better yet, I am that woman, carrying a baby
peering and knocking on your window,
hammering down on a glass,
separating me from you,
forever closed,
like the display cages at a zoo.
I gaze at you, from the outside
I stand, quietly staring.
Asking for some loose change
that, I know, is far from coming.
I am them. I am a nobody.
Unknown. Unseen. A statistic in your book.
Just another number in your ordered world.
Yet, maybe, someday this nobody
will make your blood run cold.
After all, I have nothing to fear.
Nothing to lose.
And each day the hunger grows
fed by pain and loneliness
fueled by your beautiful apathy
parading each day in designer clothes
that everyone could see,
I could see ….
And I grow tired of seeing.
So maybe, one of these days
at knife’s edge
you will see this nobody —
within that split second
reflected brilliantly in silver —
become your somebody.

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