jock & the conveyor belt of death

Life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
From a tree’s summit
says Jock, Lionel’s ancient border terrier
mournfully shaking his head
his eyes closed.
That’s beautiful, I say.
Did you write that?
Google it, he says
opening one eye &
wincing up at me
I will I say
He sighs, reaches up to tap the ash from his fag
into a chunky plastic ashtray
with Ricard on the side.
I push it a little nearer
Thanks he says
I shout out to Lionel
who’s still in the bathroom
Are you alright in there, Lionel?
‘I’m never alright!’ he shouts back
I look down at Jock
who nods ironically
We’re quiet for a while
watching the fucked & yellowing nets
ripple in front of the window.
He’s changed says Jock
Ever since all his brothers died.
All of them?
Five he says, holding up four toes
One a year
In age order.
And is he the youngest?
He is.
That’s hard.
Tell me about it.
I shout out to Lionel again
‘D’you need a hand?’
No reply
Jock takes another drag and
blows thin streams of smoke
through his incisors
It makes him look mean
but I don’t say anything about that
You wanna hear his latest thing? he says
What’s his latest thing?
His latest thing is the Conveyor Belt of Death
Yeah! I know, right?
Bloody hell. So what do you say to that?
Jock winces again
tries to shrug
(an arthritic kind of lurch)
takes another drag of the fag
then grinds the butt out
in the Ricard ashtray
with a look of disgust
I tell him there’s no conveyor belt, man he says
There’s life and there’s death and that’s it
Today you’re alive
So c’mon! Let’s go for a walk!
We can piss on some flowers
And does he?
No

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