Birth of a City

What was that? Smack in the middle of his mouth, a long, hard punch? Sent up from the lung? In the form of a cough? That almost knocked his glasses right off? And what was that? Like a slow, long slug, a finger of fat ooze, manouvering its way around his nose? And the skull - that usually presses in as soft as a stroking palm - has it really grown spikes? Spikes that scrape along the grey top of the brain, like finger nails down a school blackboard?

Blackboard? School? His body? Where the provinces are full with the fats of putrid foods, the sewage works splutter and stink, caves and crevaces swim with steaming seas of salt water? Where the magic temples allure no worshippers, the streets are over-run by barbarians, and the chimneys splutter black smoke?

No, today he is a new city, one invaded by illness - and the brain shouts for balm - like cymbals the eyelids crash up and down, failing to be and fighting to be still and calm - and the Memory mutters something about Mother, chicken soup and orange juice - whilst the stomach begs the belt to let it run loose - and the throbbing neck has inflated its own noose -

and I, Fist, amok in the middle of it all, am as happy as an old General. An old General: one suddenly freed of his paper-strewn desk and occasional cigar, freed to roam and wreck like a mad young war lord, scratching at the fires, the fires spreading out like a plain across the skin, dropping paracetamol down the throat, like grenades down a bolt hole, and shouting out, like a fist-clenched loud speaker, with a voice so joyfully raw, that the City of Fist has been born of this body, and it is a city made entirely of civil war.