• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 07

Cookie Monster

Every day we walk the short walk
(Four thousand steps, our phones measure)
To lean again over books we didn’t write
But maybe wish we had. And every day
The city has been rewritten, in
Small part: it started with a big
Blue Cookie-Monster, who dis-

Appeared by the evening; weeks
Later he’s only an eyeball. We see kids
Writing their names in ludicrously
Contrived designs, in the same spot
By the side of the U-bahn, daily;
Pigment thrown up against the wall,
Chemicals thrown up in the air. It’s
Strange to see such a casual disregard
For the passers by (you, dear one, and I) —
The kids don’t care who sees, and
It occurs to me I’d never really seen
it happen before: like watching a crime,
A car-jacking or a brick thrown through a window,
Or a casual hit of some drug, or a hit

And run. But then, a secondary realisation:
It’s only paint after all, paint on paint,
And tomorrow the wall will be a different
Pattern. Moving by this very morning,

I caught a sense of a deeper shift;


Cookie Monster

This city, and the structures it rests on,

Moving beneath our feet (I almost slipped,

Embarrassing if you’d seen). It’s been
Through so much already — how much more?
A place written and rewritten, and the
Wall itself a potent reminder; a place
Claimed and reclaimed over again.
“We have no time to stand and stare”,

And paint lies thickly on the only chair.