a message in a bottle
by Gareth Culshaw

There was a guy next door
with a face that looked to have
been plunged into a bowl of hair
trimmings. At night he would lean
out his window and allow the sky
to pull out the insides of his
stomach. Occasionally we heard him
screaming into the ceiling.
Sometimes he would walk
the streetlights, reel up the sun
for another day. He told us
he had had a breakdown.
He lived in a bottle
like a message,
where the words were not read
by any of us, as he sank deeper
into himself.

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