Contact Tracing by Rob Buchanan

I’m counting backwards
Along those empty seats. A nomad
Retracing my past lives labyrinth
My beloved lost matter
Squatting in the mansions of my mind.
It seems after a hundred miles of weeks
You can be filled with emptiness.
You can overdose upon
Your monopoly on grief.

Stripped to my ribs, sedated
by the dead light dancing on a screen. Surrogate soul, clairvoyant in cozy quarantine. Human contact is the currency of sanity. So what does that make me?
Conjuring consumer, the apparitions scream. What point is there of bank balances and lie ins, Could I be the king of earth
but still be humbled for want of humanities immediate family.

Standing bare before my estranged siblings, Blurred by proximity and with a ruthless Lonesome dignity proclaim I need you all,
I never knew I would.
Your faces teach me what is helpless
must me holy, Your bodies define me commingling musically .

Come back to me,
As a prophets hazily recalled dream.
Each of you gave God her human face.
Blood and bone bound, corporeal
Human chains.
Individuality is mistaken identity, we are
Eight billion faces yet a single race. Emmanations of each other, sphere of wonder And war turning eternally in space.

Rob Buchanan was one of the winners of 2015 Poetry Ireland Introductions series. He has been published in a number of poetry journals and magazines.His work has been anthologised and translated in to Irish and Greek. His first collection The Cost of Living was published in 2018. He performs his work at poetry nights across the country.

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