Round two. Victory lap. The light that illuminates in me is faint and I am a dim, dull fool. I am just waiting for the next second. I am already dead. I have got opinions. Would you like to hear them? Probably not. They’re not a matter of curiosity. I’m laying myself on the tracks. I am loco for discourse. Terrible happenstance, snuck away under a mask and calmed myself in comfort. I wasn’t relaxed. Because I am already dead, and I’m not worth fixing. I don’t trust myself to be fine. Fine haunts me. Who am I to ask for more? The stars and the sky are silent, they have no words for me. I am the occupying force in a restless vessel, where are my seven seas? Take a trip, take a pill. There’s more to experience but the constants remain, terrorising my peace. Stop asking because I don’t know. Genius for a postcard, common sense on a sticky note. My whiteboard is empty with the things I once wrote. Can I skip the teaser, I’d rather wait. Don’t expect me in the credits, I’ve already elucidated my fate. Godliness for a heartbeat and vanquished in the casting, I wasn’t the right mould, I was too fond of asking. I tried. It’s all we can do and I was burned, I was burned alive. I got so sick of burning that numbness felt like a cool breeze. The prevailing wind offered no joy for me. So I stare empty at the metronome, the ticking ceaseless. Will there be a rupture, a sign of more, or a tapestry unravelling a threaded crawl? Tedious and far from awe. I hurt again. Who is keeping score? I’ll stop. There’s to end to the show. Tomorrow I wake up and it begins again. Round two. Victory lap. I’ve got more seeds to sow. They told me empty cans could flip the script. I am already dead. You’re not listening, continuing as if there is a motive. All I am is emotive. Does it make sense? Does living pay the rent? Questions asked when time is seldom your friend. No answers to the burning questions. I ask and my voice rebounds to heighten my isolation. What’s after now? More of this. Round two. Victory lap. Tell your friends. Speak to your neighbours. I’m the guy across the hall. You may know me as the greatest living memory since I started this all. Is there a place for me? Not disquieting I say. I need them to see the medals and trophies. Nothing fake about the accolades that exist in my head. Conversational for a corpse, that’s for sure. Frankenstein was taciturn and deferred to the crowd. Is that fire in your hand or a mobile phone? They love me, they really love me! Is there anything left of this elemental life? Are my bonds tired of their covalence? Molecules raising their eyebrows. I’m beginning to hate the thought of them. They sit, sharing their erstwhile views from the recesses of the cave, while I’m foraging for the fire that announces the day. A great weight sinks me to the floor. Gravity has no regard for me. I exist at its whim and I hold fast to its grace. The sun and the moon exchange places and the darkness reveals my plight. The sun disguises the fight. Death would be too easy. I die a thousand times instead. Don’t ask me to die for you. I’m already dead. A memory. A person from another time. He was fine but the one I died to become, he has no place here, no reason nor rhyme. The fading glory was a calling card for the muse and her shine and the painful locus was the hero caught out by time. I don’t know where the next spark begins, I only know where the one I remember ends. I forgot it was like, it was another me. This one fails endlessly. I almost regret being brave. If I was like the rest, maybe I would hold my head high. There was only one way for me. Tearing myself apart so I could bear any hit. I’ll succeed because I’m a survivor. It’s easy like I said. There’s no wound that endures when you are already dead. I can’t do it anymore. I repeat it again and again but a sick compulsion thwarts my intent. I have to return to the place where I rest, for the peace that I long for teases as I slept, through the maze of breathless, weary contempt. Can you do more than what I expect, is there a means to introspect? I suffer in the pauses between each step as a caged bird sings muffled songs from its gilded nest.