The Empty Skeleton Line

by Melanie Browne

this line is empty,
a whispering skeleton,
I lean in closer trying to make
sense of the senseless
but clearly it’s a madman,
wearing only one shoe,
when he falls asleep
he’s chased by Cerberus,
I think maybe this line
goes to hell and back in one day,
It’s a long trek,
he gets thirsty and tries
to bum cigarettes from no-one
but they can’t hear him,
the music in their non-existent ears
is much too loud, he starts talking to
himself, complaining
of taxes, he’s a madman,
a rusty war-horse,
sick of fighting ancient battles,
and scared of wrangling
new ones

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