KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 7: Spring 2017
Prose Poem: 166 words


by Michael Loveday

Thumbs have a longer memory than other parts of the body. Click down, click up: a small circle left on the flesh. By this mark I measure the quality of my attention. If by closing time a deep ring is there, I know my day will be deemed worthwhile.

I no longer notice the colour of their hair, whether they have green eyes or a long nose, whether they wear grey jeans or a balaclava. It’s just a slow horde passing: a congregation, secular and travelling. I fulfil the basic minimum of their questions: “Where are the toilets?” “Parlez-vous Francais?” We talk, but never talk. They never ask me how I am, what I long for, or what, these days, keeps me up at night.

Long ago, as a child, I would sit in the back of my mother’s burgundy Honda and clench my teeth gently every time we passed a streetlight. Not quite exactly on time: just behind the beat, like a jazz singer.


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