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Counting Obsession

I count stairs

birds, kerb stones

children on a bus

spectators at a stadium

I count breakers on the beach

seconds, years, minutes


The world whirls by


a missed step

a missing child

a stampede at a soccer match

or at the Hajj


One more, one less


I count blood

floods, earthquakes

revolutions of the moon

passers by

I count stars

repetitions of amen

the number of begats


Compressed into myself

I count teeth, hair

the hours until

my next meal


Water leaking from

the wall of my cell

drip, drip, drip


Winter comes

water turns to icicles

I count heartbeats

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© Johnmichael Simon



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