he lives upstairs

the world speaks to him.
there are portents hidden in blades of grass
the rasta’s stick lies broken in the gutter
his stool overturned on the pavement
this tells us the rasta is powerless
he said.

reverse graffiti is scribbled on the window –
“this way up”
but the arrow points down.
he tells me that it’s a secret message
that says he’s not wanted here anymore.

the electrician crossed the wires
my neighbour pays to light my kitchen
I unblock his drain when it overflows
into my courtyard.

noise seeps through the floors
he follows their daily lives.
the car guards sell drugs
the overlords direct them, hidden behind
designer sunglasses.

he sees it all, unravels the tales
that tangle the streets,
interprets the secret codes
finds the truth, if you listen
he’ll tell you how it works
show you fear marked on the map
teach you to read the signs
lead you down the path to sleepless nights
spent weaving conspiracies in the dark.

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