September 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Four
James Quinton
between the cracks in the floorboards 

i donít like to go outside
but when I do have to leave
the safety of the flat
for beer, cigarettes
and microwave meals
i do so, hesitantly
planning my every move
like a military operation

first, I must avoid
the people in the other flats
i see them come and go
i know their routines

then, the walk along
the busy, dirty city street
my head down
avoiding all eye contact

in the shop, i hastily
purchase my supplies
i shake as Iím being served
stumbling over my words
cursing God

ideally, i want to exist
between the cracks
in the floorboards
out of society
out of circulation
absorbing solitude
behind the door
in a locked room
an existence enclosed

back home, safe
i light a cigarette and sip on a beer
whilst my microwave meal cooks
i look out of the window
people pass

Ė they donít  know Iím here Ö