Trying to photograph the city

I have seen life and death,
life comes in with blood and fury
death goes out with bloat and stink
both are related as rain is to mud.

I had a friend die on a cold winter’s day
he fell in front of the heater
and was there three days before I found him
growing purple and too large for his clothes.

I have seen a child come into the world purple
having her throat choked by the chord that gives life.
There is a thrill in being alive
in seeing the clouds in the sky.

I worked a while milling timber
I felt the sharp cold kiss of the saw
I cut the tops of my fingers off, it was like a little death.
They grew back, it was a miracle.

I still have the scars and when I type
each dull thud of my finger
sends a numb vibration straight to the brain
I was cutting wood, I forgot to fear the blade.

The streets of my town look different when photographed
you can be fooled by large buildings and narrow roads.
A driver stopped her car and punched me in the face
one evening when I was looking for art deco buildings.

she called the police, ten came in a group
they stood around ignoring me
detached but threatening
yellow skies glinted off the windows, I missed a great photo.

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