The Observer Observed

‘Neighbourhood Watch’
in The Cold Panes of Surfaces

One day you come home
to a letter in your mailbox.
It asks you to quietly observe
a neighbour — a young man
who owns a brick house
across the street from you.
you sit the whole long night
outside the poor man’s house,
slightly ashamed to be alone
rooting through his garbage, too,
looking for the secret writ to his life,
for what it is he is hiding — until,
empty-handed and solemn
you walk home, noticing someone
has trampled your rose bushes
and your garbage is strewn,
like a banner of lies and half-truths,
across the city’s shining ruin.

Chris Banks

And so for day 2460

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