The child

by Akhim Alexis

The thin dying man and the child to his left looked through me as I recited a poem I wrote called Jumping to Juniper and carefully avoided stuttering so it won’t further complicate my lisp / and from the right slant of my eye I see a pan half full of yellow liquid which I assume is urine because no one puts apple juice in a stainless steel pan / and my mother watches from the window and she keeps shouting ‘there you go social purgatory, you like that? like telling them your little stories?’/ and the child is not crying, but seems as though he is bothered by something, it must be me, I must be imposing / and the poem seems to not have an end / ‘you think you’re something special?, there you go social purgatory, special friends for a special boy’/ I think I’m not allowed to sit because I’ve been here a while, I can tell since the child left and the man started smelling/ Juniper is land for the sea ridden and home for the rudderless / my legs hurt and the dying man offers me his legs in return for my poem, I deny his request and he gets upset and lunges toward me and bites my arm / my mother is laughing at the window / I am sitting to the left of a dying man while a boy is reciting a poem / the mother is at the window/ I am at the window/ the dying man is dead.

Akhim Alexis is a writer born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. He is currently pursuing an MA in Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. His most recent work has appeared in such literary journals as Moko-caribbean arts and letters and In Parentheses. You can follow him on twitter @akhimalexis1.

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