And now that i have arrived

At Island City with its open beaches,

Friendly laws, fresh breathing parks,

Cozy hotels, museums and street music;

Now that i have arrived alone

Away from everything that constrains

That imposes, that mocks;

Now that i’ve come heeding the good advice

Of good, good friends,

And stand, my hands full of bags

That contain more freedom

In the middle of a mall,

About to leave

After a full day’s pleasure,

Something catches the eye:

A speck

On the window

Of some shop

At the mall.

Why would a speck matter

Enough to lure me near?

Every window glass in the mall

Is immaculately clean.

Why then is this speck there?

And why does it, being absolutely still,

Seem to be trying to move?

I come closer to observe.

The speck reveals its contours.

I zoom in.

It is a man.

A speck, a dust particle, dirt,

Shaped like a man.

I run my finger over to clean the glass.


The speck is on the other side of the glass.

I go inside the shop and clean the speck from there.

In vain.

The man-speck is on neither side.

I zoom my eye microscopically.

He has familiar clothes on.

He does not move.

He is stuck in between,

On neither side of the glass,

But inside it.

That face.

That frown.

An effort.

To move.

To be able to budge.

Or breathe.

Trying to move.

Absolutely still.

That birthmark on the cheek.

Like looking into a mirror.

Stuck at the edge of his eye

A tear. Still.

That open mouth.

My throat.

His scream.


Glass on each side.

I-speck in between.

Artwork by: Anjum Alix Noon