L’esprit de l’escalier
You think of it while, say,
lying in bed on a dry-mouthed Monday morning,
eyes open, quietly hoping for a kind death,
the hour, the week, the month
unforgivably, oh jesus.
Again, at work, the sun behind you
reflecting on your computer monitor,
opaque, relentless —
when cheating Inland Revenue
or when the sun in the afternoon,
sad and frightening,
filters through the bedroom curtains.
You can’t help but feel it
when the cat’s bowels give out,
and you know, suddenly, you’ve been ludicrously wrong.
All of it
just an animal cunning
that gets its way.
Published online January 01 2012.