The future is a pack of lies

by Mary Paterson

I see a thin sliver of the moon, curved into a rim, on the folded napkin of the cloudy sky

I see a hand, like yours, but smaller, touching the brick wall at the end of this street

I see a hand, fingers stretched, feeling for the cracks and the crevices, the bony protuberances of other people’s stories

I see a hand, bent in lead inside a memory, hanging a head, aching a neck

I see five fingers of a fern, stretched like a child’s curiosity

I see a cyclist run the red light, here

I see a man swing a can in anger

I see a group of young women turn around and walk away, quickly, as if this is the most normal thing in the world, to change direction, to change your mind, to pretend that there is somewhere else that you are going

I see a body outside the supermarket, so often, that I train myself not to see

I see a single shoe

I see a napkin folded into squares inside the bin bags

I see the bin bags rustle to life

I see a fox, still as a streetlamp, until one of us (it is me) capitulates

I see fox prints on the bonnet of my car in the mornings

I see the ghost of the fox’s face, pressed up against my kitchen window, nose landing a wet kiss on the glass

I see a mattress splay its guts in the car park and I think, live and let live

I see a rose called Emily Bronte spread its fairy wings into the rain

I see an ant carry a rain soaked petal to its nest in my living room

I see a stranger with a suitcase and no umbrella

I see a QR code

I see the whites of your eyes

I see your thumbprint in the sky, like mine, but smaller

I see a footstep and I hold my foot above it, so that I can think

I see a wall and I put your hand to it, so that I can stand

I see a coin and I toss it towards the foxes

I see a head and I turn tail.

Mary Paterson is co-host of Something Other.

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