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Work in Progress

By Pana Khazina

Whilst I look at people passing by, heads full of swirling thoughts and days packed with tight schedules, I am slowly losing myself. My whole life I have been fighting for my future, dedicating day and night to it; sacrificing my time, and for what? I am no working bee, but still, that is what we all are. Am I the only one seeing this? Am I the only one scared to just exist without actually living? No one seems to care. It makes me wonder:

Are we really free?

I look out the corner at actual trade:

The workers are fighting for lingering braids,

The hair is now covered in dead-stinking grease

While two rubber bands are still hanging at ease.

A fly calmly lands on a swollen-red nose,

It crawls up the eyelids: the day-lights expose

How pale is the face and how low are the eyes,

The ones that have shrunk, that have ruptured in size.

The factory’s boiling, it’s loaded with work: It’s jammed, full of sweat; forces people to lurk.

The time to clean up just keeps slipping away,

The body is staying right here for display.

The C-belt is rattling, the wires – they squeak: It’s wholly her fault, she was just being weak. It’s not like this never occurred here before,

There’s always a line, there will always be more.

The sounds of quick steps have an instant effect,

Someone is coming! No space for neglect!

The bag gets ripped off, plastic touches the walls,

They shove her by arms, she gets dragged through the halls.

The metal is stained, and the scrubbing will ache –

The CEO board always mentions mistakes: No overtime pay, no insurance support, One more extra case and the gas will come short.

The hair! Oh, the hair, what a shame! What a loss!

The money you get for such length… Golden cross! Decide now, and quicker, who gets it? Whose fault? Who’s bringing the goods through the cooling down vault?

Her mother and sisters, they don’t need to know.

We’ll tell them that all of us, all undergo

The stripping, the shedding – the rules of the floor.

You die while at work, you belong to the four: The knife, for the cutting, for organs inside, The scissors, for locks that spread curly and wide,

The chainsaw, for ivory bones and the skull,

The axe, for the chopping, for skin that is dull.

The clatter of heels, and the air smells like stone.

The beast stands there abruptly, strangely alone.

Its head is half-masked, and its smile – silver teeth,

It’s staring, its eyes full of blood, switching heaths.

Now everyone parted. The honour is spread.

It’s down with the bowing of everyone’s Head.

The noise’s standing still and the rattling is hushed.

The corpse has been carried away. It’s been gushed.

The tick of the hours is coming to life. The C-belt is running, there’s no need for strife.

The moment of quarrelling stays in the past… And suddenly there is a new screaming blast.


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