He walks among us
Closer than we care or dare to admit.
Plane crash, massacre, earthquake:
He is there.

No pasty-faced zombie or blood-drained undead
Staring black-eyed, hollow cheeked with extended fangs
And beckoning palms, him.

Instead he stands in
Garrulous crowds
Or stiff and silent queues.

He is the crowd,
He is the queue.

Telephoto lens: flash, flash, flash,
Then he’s away.
A professional, this one.

Another takes a grisly souvenir:
A fragment of glass from a bloodstained windscreen;
A lock of hair from a severed head;
A ring from a corpse’s finger.

He doesn’t kiss like a vampire;
Doesn’t leer like a madman.

His face is the colour of warm flesh;
His eyes are alive
And, with wounded innocence,
Stare back at his accuser from the bathroom mirror.

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