William Makepeace Thackeray
I looked closely at my hands
But I couldn't see any trace of blood
Either on me or in me.
I wondered if my heart was ever beating.
I tried to listen for the flow...
That rushing in the ears you get
When you stand up too quickly.
Nothing... I didn't even feel dizzy.

If I deconstructed myself
Would there be a sparkling?
Would there be a piece that glittered?
Would it be my soul?
I checked the instructions
On the back of the fag packet,
But I think God forgot that piece
When He made me...

When they stood me against the wall
I thought it was a joke.
I started to smirk.
Funny, I thought.
Funny to see this graffiti.
Funny to taste this gravel.
But, it wasn't gravel I tasted,
It was blood... My blood.

And, suddenly it dawned on me.
As I heard the rush of blood in my ears
And I saw the clear signs of my circulation,
The veins in my hands popping,
The vision blurring, the knife protruding,
I had it all along, all this time.
You never truly know what you have
Until its gone.

William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist, poet, author and illustrator, died today in 1863.

Harold Pinter, English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor, died today in 2008.

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