Of dust and children

7 Apr

He sits in the far left corner, whichever is most ignored
where dust and dehydrated dreams accumulate, atrophy and
die. He remains obedient to form; folded, knees perched in chest,
arms a perfect square fortress, head tucked just low enough
to absorb tears into the frays of the hole in his jeans.

It took a lifetime to find this place, dank and forgotten. Still it suffices-
the quiet makes a good blanket though at times the anthems surface.
He once thought they were sweet pet names because always
beginning with “you,” he pretended no one heard the antithetical
“ain’t shit,” “ain’t worth a quarter,” and the bottommost, “ain’t mine.”

The corner suits him fine as he’s only there to fill a space, not like in the world of yours and mine, where he charades well, playing father, husband and boss of a small textile company. When he started there fifteen years ago they made things.Now they ship and receive, and regroup, and rethink, and downsize for cost efficiency.Holding a stack of pink papers, he wanted to usher them to his corner to process

but he couldn’t. There’s only room for one in that corner nestled by gray walls and drab windows. There’s room for only one, no place for wives and children. So after discharging the last of his charges, Bill lowered his eyes, shrunk his linebacker frame to that of his nine year-old self and left his feet for the last time. They found him on
Wednesday when his father’s gardener fetched the lawn mower.

Asani Charles

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