The scale man

by: Leylana Shajii

Squatting on the pavement says the scale man against a wall
come, pay what you can, weigh yourselves. In front of him
a scale carefully placed. Around the number indicator
the metal frame rusting. Come. Weigh yourselves.
His white eyes nonstop fluttering in their sockets, the wings
of a pigeon ensnared. His head thrown back and his voice restless.
Pay what you can weigh yourselves. Weigh
the emptiness gripping your diaphragms
the burden of aim-less-ness. See how heavy
the responsibility you never felt, belonging you never sensed
the thousand years you never lived, the memory you left behind.
Step on the scale weigh yourselves. Read the weight
of illusion, of poetry you no more need, and of those tricks destiny
has fooled you with. Come pay what you can, weigh yourselves.
Passer-bys but only quicken their ghostly paces
the rusting scale intact and the man still restless
come pay what you can, see yourselves.

Leylanaz Shajii
July 2, 2005