Self-Portrait on Dorking High Street

The voice inside his head burbles
a very different language to the
sounds that fall from his mouth
between the silence of cigarettes.

Outside, the world is a cold breeze,
loudness of passing cars, cracks
resting beneath feet as they drag,
distances of unloved paths to be walked.

Outside the world is an anxiety
that he struggles to leave behind,
the scars that define his arms and face,
the things his doctors say can’t be changed.

But inside, inside he sings
songs that yearn to be freed
from their shackles and dirt,
rootless and cosmopolitan.

Inside, everything is change.
A fresh view each morning.
New words learned and placed
between the lines of his notebook.

The voice inside his head burbles
a very different language to the
sounds that fall from his mouth
between the silence of cigarettes.

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