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The Worst Man in the World
When I hunch over
empty bottles roll into each other in dusty light,
blinds closed, face pallid,
with death and dependence hanging low in the air,
bony fingers grappling in the damp dank dark
I’m a monster.
Scrabbling around for the least empty vial,
for that long last drop of make-me-better,
for the last, best excuse to be mad, and
I'm going to go walk out and down the street and stop in the pub, and maybe stop on my way back and look at the house on the left corner for a long time. I’ll try and break in, just because I can, or just walk up and down the road. If someone tries to start something, I'll just let loose on them. Why not? I've got nothing better to do anyway, except
take a sharp deep painful breath.
and even though the stagnant stench of wrong is on my skin
I can't shake the feeling, somehow,
of pure, unadulterated, exhilaration.
Here I am, this man,
in a cold sweat, shaking back a sick smile,
clutching at the edges of acceptance amongst his filthy possessions,
each more drenched in guilt than the last.
I would say it's not my fault, I can't help it,
but I can, and I won't, and I'm sorry.
He’s sorry. You hear that? He's weak. Doesn't even live, just thinks, like some tragic hero, not doing, not living, not in the real world, anyway. He’s a waste of life and space, a nasty blot on the map. He's going to be gone soon, after my walk, and we'll see how things go then. We'll see. Things'll run differently
and I can’t let that happen.
I’ve become my own undoing, held my knife to my own throat,
wrenched the wheel from my hands.
Let my wrath and my sin spill free in the streets,
my demented children, running from home.
I have to end.
I'm not going downstairs.
I’m not going anywhere.
After all, I’m a respected man
We can’t have them thinking otherwise.