Painstaking

„What are you doing?" I hear one of my friends ask,
"Have you taken to rummaging through the dustbins?"

"I have lost something," I mutter,
as I bury my fingers in rotten banana skins,
the sticky remains of eggshells, and used tissues.
"Some pencil notes I have taken."

"Why don't you leave them?" my friend laughs,
"They were just scraps of paper, you could
always write some others."

"No!" I growl like a lioness,
as my fingers make contact with cigarette ash,
the sticky contents of a half-emptied tin
and the sharp, jagged metal of its lid.
"They are my words, my poems, parts of my novel,
my treasures that are to be woven
into the story of my life."

"You'll only hurt yourself,
see, your hands and arms are all dirty and bleeding."

"I have to retrieve them before they sink
beyond my reach," I say through clenched teeth
as I pounce like a leopard and reach through layers
of soiled cat litter, a burst bag with dog dirt
and an array of broken beer bottles.
"There they are!" I pant triumphantly as I
gently clutch some stained bits of paper in my fist.
"They are dirty, but that doesn't matter,
I can still read them well enough to write them out neatly."

I place them carefully in my pocket and turn to the stabbing
pain in my palm; almost incredulously
I draw out a huge shard of broken glass,
followed by a rush of crimson blood.

And then I see You.
You smile at me knowingly
and hold out a nail-pierced hand.

16.3.2012