Business Man

For my friend–

The Exorcism of John Doe

The coroner found you
at precisely quarter to eight,
as the rain beat down
through a half-open window;
thirty-two missed calls
and not a single message
as your phone continued
to vibrate on silent…
You lay in cold blood,
empty glass in one hand
whiskey bottle in the other
and not a semblance of life
in your small, dank room
beneath the curiosity shop
selling salt liquorice and porn
to sad old men with nothing
but ailing hearts and bad knees.
Only the landlady arrived
to identify the body,
assessing the damage
of bloodstains
as she spoke of your solitude
over clouded cups of tea…
At times a strange woman
hired by the hour would do things
you’d hoped would make you feel
in the darkness of the night
while the rain beat down,
window sealed shut.
But your pulse would vibrate,
silently as you lay in cold sweat
money clenched in hand,
empty bottles on the floor,
no sign of satisfaction
or a thing remotely real
aside from broken headlines
that would later read
‘businessman takes life,
found in small city high-rise
in midst of false promise’.

Yet the autopsy suggests
neither suicide, nor struggle–
just your heart suffered
from self-inflicted wounds
of unabated inconsideration
as you callously manipulated
those who used to care
until they learned better.
And somehow they found me,
a name in the midst of half-torn letters
in a small box beneath your bed
and here I am, rain beating down
standing outside your front door
finally open after all these years
and I peer in and see it all:
yellow-taped crime scene
surrounding the life you chose,
the cold, dank room
the small curiosity shop
lottery stubs and cheap beer
for naive young men with nothing
but guilty thoughts
and failing dreams…
This is the life you left me for
and I wonder how it was
that the man I used to love
could go by so forgotten,
with a funeral so serene
I wear white, shed no tears
and know in some strange comfort
that you are gone now,
never to haunt me again
with that magnificent potential.
Such a shame you were spoilt
by ambition spoilt by fear
and now you are never to return,
leaving me in semi-sweet resolve
as you become just another man
with a familiar face,
whose real name I never knew.

– Sarah Badr

© 2007.  S.H.Badr, All Rights Reserved.


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