While the bus trembles in the jam,
I’m reading a book, a history of language,
and the pretend work is catching up with me;
it’s hard to keep my eyes open.
The pisshead pulls the book from my hand,
takes a look at the cover
and throws it at my head.
We would read this as a political gesture and
shiver sexily in the hair shirts
our mums and dads gave us,
but it’s hard to keep our eyes open
to what’s really happening,
what’s really there.
We are no longer readers.
There are no readers anywhere.
The day is nearly over
and it’s getting dark.