• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 01
Image by


I am the cleaner.
No, don’t misunderstand me;
I don’t get involved in the scene of the crime,
the grime at the time itself.
They send me the gloves that they wore
when they did some deed
that they want erased, every trace,
every smatter and spatter and stain.
Some defeat me. My policy?
No returns, no fee.

You see, now they feel better.
I’m holding their flat hands for ever.
Children’s mittens, first gloves, chewed fingers –
the first fragile seedlings of pointing and sneering,
jabbing and smearing; all good formative fun.
There are budding pickpockets, sleight-of-hand conjurors,
sweetly removing a card, his wallet, her self-esteem.
And the flower-handed murderers, silk-skinned adulterers,
small hand-shod mutes at a loss for alternatives –
I don’t think about what these sightless siblings have seen,
where these desensitised, empty swatches have been.



Send me, oh send me your sheepskins,
sequin trims, Marigolds even!
I’ll do my best to clean them or keep them.
It’s a living. And it keeps me clean.
Today I’m wearing my best blue and white ones
and I can’t feel a thing.