Lotion (Free verse) by impert&ent
My thumb bears the marks, bloodied dirt in the gouges.
Mishaps of my labour among the shards and splinters.
The remains of Williams Bicycle Works.
My thumb, especially, remembers the bricks
The point of contact, the weight, the beginnings of a callous.
Pulled from the soil, tossed into carefully aligned heaps.
Pulled from the pile and laid back among the fragments of reinforced
glass, wooden frames, concrete.
Leveled, aligned top and bottom, smacked into place.
Black bricks, blue bricks, burnt red and warm ochre. Oblong, transverse,
on their sides.
My thumb, sliced, cracked, battered. Sandpaper rough.
Scraping heaps of dust to lay along the path, under and over the bricks.
Heaping it with the blade of my palm, picking out the chunks, spreading
it again. Scavenging. Pulling bits of timber from under the soil.
Pulling out a chainwheel, a crank, a blank, a shard of cast iron plate,
a sheet of rusted steel. My new scraper and shovel.
Widening the trench, smashing some of the protruding shards, smashing
brick against brick, glass, tile.
Three wide on the straightaway, four transverse in the hollow, three
wide on the uphill, shifting each row one brick to the left, rising
diagonally through the rubble.
Scraping, lifting, setting, pounding.
Gouged even in the final moment, closing the door behind me as I left
By the screws I repaired it with yesterday.
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