Paul Brooke: ‘The Remnant’

The Remnant

Very early in the lambency of the almost moon,
I stumble into the bathroom. In the mirror,

A Neanderthal stoops before me: slack jawed,
Ridge browed, angled cheek bones, stocky body.

These hands have speared game, flecked
Tools. These hands have carved flesh,

Deboned fish, cured hides. These hands
Have patched pelts with awkward bones.

These teeth are meat eaters. This hair
Is unkempt, frazzled. These feet are sherpa

Soles. This body’s pilose yet craves fire
And stones inflamed by a day’s roastings.

The cold water of the shower annoys me
And I leave the Neanderthal behind

In a slathering of emollients, in beepings
Of tiny computers, in silent conveyances.

Locked into a cell of fluorescence, I swim
A sea of data, hieroglyphics, and code.

Backstroke and navigate with elegant fingers,
Brain enlarging, muscles slowly atrophying.

Paul Brooke

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