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Sympathy Prize

Hatched from a cell a pair of tweezers extracted,
and raised in white rooms, white clothes, a magic lantern
casting spectres on a bed sheet, my life story

might ring hollow, a gimmick; but when the first face
peers between the silhouette of the medium
and the numinous ectoplasm, the heart will skip,
lips stutter. A halo surrounding the blank face
imparts a warmth to the scene which belies the ending.
As mammals, we long for some physical contact.

The future, like a clean pledget applied to the skin, stanches
the sunrise seeping from the wound which won't heal.
The dossil of tomorrow presses against the wound.

A microscope watched the lone cell lowered into goop.
Years passed so quickly, I thought time did not exist.
The hatch at the bottom of the door lifted, a tray
slid across the tiles: edible pellets, and a book,

every day the same time, as the clocktower groaned hoarse.
I would sit up in bed, matted sheets for cushions, and tear
the pages from the binding of the book one by one, destructive,
illiterate, a danger to myself. Poor excuse
for nutrition, the plateful of pellets sat untouched.