Nick Carding




In this room

You walk in here
(if you can walk)
and see the faces turning
eyes sliding over yours
slipping away
assessments made
a future told
in indifferent glances.

You walk in here
and lose your place.

Time scurries under beds
hides in corners
seeking sanctuary
wherever darkness is
minutes are hours
days an aeon
or a moment
gone before you notice.

Here only the routine
remains inviolate.

Space expands
contracts at will
at night as infinite
as all those hours
squeezed by day
to claustrophobia
the press of bodies
stretching only tolerance.

Here we live
and partly live.

On this small stage
we pirouette
our puppet choreography
of pain and boredom
the music made
by medicine men
a hope for wholeness
pulling strings.

In this room

it’s kill or cure.



Nick Carding is an Englishman now living in Croatia. Most recently his work has appeared in Orbis, Allegro and Ink Sweat & Tears, as well as in various publications in the USA.

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