drinking alone in the daytime

you stop looking at the clock

on the wall above the bar

you stop checking your wristwatch

you don’t even mind the man

sitting next to you being all touchy

 you don’t concern yourself

with the root-like-fingers

entering the cervices

 it doesn’t bother you

that he smells

of masturbation

and that he could be called de Rais

 and he could have killed twenty-five children

maybe more

and could be wearing a shirt of human flesh.

It is about this time

you suddenly realize

that you are a mathematical genius

and that you no longer need your thumbs and fingers to count

Barry Whitehouse

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