My First Strand of Grey by Michael B. Keane

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.

The Book of Jakarta is published by Comma Press

About The Author

Michael B. Keane is a London-based writer of poetry and dark fiction.

Bandit Fiction is an entirely not-for-profit organisation ran by passionate volunteers. We do our best to keep costs low, but we rely on the support of our readers and followers to be able to do what we do. The best way to support us is by purchasing one of our back issues. All issues are ‘pay what you want’, and all money goes directly towards paying operational costs.

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