The Good Samaritan
May I give you a tour of the past’s haunted house?
Thieves picked my pockets clean but I can help you
with the secret origins of the ego. I have this X-ray
detailing its emptiness. I can build a fire with only
a few brittle verbs. Show me where it hurts. Here
is a map of the village of your childhood. Let me
lead you through its narrow streets and alleyways.
Once I was not helpful. I stayed alone in my house.
I said no to anyone who came by talking of money
or proselytizing. All that was folly. May I chauffeur
you around? Do your grocery shopping? Be your
personal saviour? Please, allow me to do my part.
Let me be a surrogate for your pain and loneliness.
Here is some cotton candy, and all the addresses
of everyone you have ever loved. I can call them
and tell them how sorry you are if you wish. It
really is no trouble. Might I suggest a hot soak,
a back rub, a turn of the century Russian novel
to make you feel less like a clod of earth? We all
do bad things to each other. I hope I am not
keeping you from some pressing appointment?
Give me five dollars, and the name of the boy
who hit you in grade five. I’ll take care of it.
If you are addicted to abandonment, let me
hold your hand while you sweat out any aches
from under a blanket. Your restraining order
did appear a little gauche. I’m doing this for you.
Where are you going? I'll pick up the bill.
By Chris Banks