It happened today: my first strand of grey.
In my bathroom’s bright light, I felt shock, then dismay
as my fate flashed before me: arthrosis, infirmness,
decay, the faint footsteps of Death on his way.
I felt hopeless already: aging, unsteady,
and struggling to think. “What about me won’t shrink?
My backaches? My future collection of hair dye?
The length of my soon-to-be thousand-yard stare?” I
stepped backwards, then forwards, then turned to one side,
but no angle could hide what I tried and I tried
to unsee, and I suddenly, strangely felt free.
The old man that I’d feared for so long was just me.
We stared through the glass at our future and past
and perceived them as equally now.
We smiled and unwrinkled our brow.
This post is brought to you by The Book of Jakarta
Despite being the world’s fourth largest nation – made up of over 17,000 islands – very little of Indonesian history and contemporary politics are known to outsiders. From feudal states and sultanates to a Cold War killing field and a now struggling, flawed democracy – the country’s political history, as well as its literature, defies easy explanation. Like Indonesia itself, the capital city Jakarta is a multiplicity; irreducible, unpredictable and full of surprises. Traversing the different neighbourhoods and districts, the stories gathered here attempt to capture the essence of contemporary Jakarta and its writing, as well as the ever-changing landscape of the fastest-sinking city in the world.
About The Author
Michael B. Keane is a London-based writer of poetry and dark fiction.
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