Ember Man

by Nat Norland

Music by David Julyan. Images @ Simon Barraclough 2014

We could sit here for hours
Telling funny stories and
Laughing through damaged lungs.
The ember man and I
Have plenty in common.
He shows me all the faces
That hide inside of him.
And all his favourite places
Sun baked and ready to fry.
He asks me whether I’m his friend.
We keep each other up all night
Going through my old paperwork.
Reports and letters – as he eats
He begins to believe
That this was always his life.
He’s not sure what I’m doing in his house.
He apologises
As he holds out his hand.
I watch his faces hide away.
It’s not the the thin orange tongues
Darting about, that hurt.
The smoke does the dirty work.