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What's the use?

Writing by Magnus McDowall. Illustration by Polly Burnay.

What’s the use?

Of a stroll through pock-marked streets,

Where each door is tarred

With the same accusing brush.

Invisible Xs toll the ranks

Of the bored and grieving

To a smattering of weekly applause

That might satiate the forgetful throng.

A mob never mourns, some say,

It only moves with modern times,

Forms from uncollected ashes

A new normal,

And finally casts aside

That bygone generation,

Whose stiff upper lip, I hear,

Will shatter like sugar-glass

On an empty pavement,

Whose teeth and tongue will tumble

Each alone

Down the drains and pores

Of a heaving city’s sewage.

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