Headlines

Monday morning arrives;
bringing with it the realisation
I can no longer live with myself.
Sick of my trade in peddling poison,
pouring it down amenable throats,
I resolve to commit emotional arson.
Arming my conscience with clubs
and my guts with a bottle of vodka,
I burn every bridge in my contact list
in a four-hour marathon purge.
By the time I’m at “C” word has spread.
Most calls are being rejected.
Those who pick up are poised defensively,
voice recorders switched on.
Years of experience mean that
I sense this by instinct. I don’t care.
Throat already raw, eyes wide,
I’m an avalanche, a tsunami of
all-out catharsis, nearly drowning
in my own malevolent fury. By “J”
no one is answering calls. I grind
my phone with the heel of my shoe
and storm to the shed. Dual wielding
cans of Belton black, I start to cover
the front of my house in graffitied
apologies: to nurses, teachers, refugees,
homeless people, the unemployed;
anyone else I can think of. By now
I know I’ll never work again: this is
the only way left to hit the headlines.
I head to the city to finish my swan
song, meet my executioners, my only
hope being they’ll nail me up near a
messiah. As I approach my building,
I weep uncontrollably. The police are
already waiting: impassive, dutiful.

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