Arthur Worsley

They say that once, our kind
could prophesy the future,
amplify its rumblings and belches.
Perhaps our act is still an augury,
of sorts; the stomach-groans
of the dead foreshadowing their end.

So what does that make me?
A prop, a journeyman’s cadaver,
yet the backbone of us both,
in truth, the prophet on your knee,
the hand around your windpipe,
the words in your empty mouth.

Are you scared they might discover
how you’re nothing without me,
your real voice a risk, a whisper
from the wings? We share a head,
but which one is the dummy?
Look at me when I’m talking to you.


Andy Jackson

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