Deep Cover

The agent works unknown
behind enemy lines
He has lived there for as long as he can remember.
He no longer remembers his mission.
He no longer remembers his true name.

His controllers never contact him directly.
He reads words printed on litter blowing in the street;
Hears snatches of conversation;
the faraway calls of children
the noise of the wind
the memory of dreams.

The world continues to move and grow and change
He can see no purpose in it
He has no home. No place. No understanding.
He smiles fondly at insects crawling in the dirt.
He smiles at the stars in the night sky. At the sea.

He sees the homeless; the insane; the crippled;
The destroyed.
Those who have fallen as far as they can fall.
He feels a connection with them.
He shares something with them.
He does not know what it is.

There is something deep within him.
He can feel it there like an uneasy secret.
Underneath layers of dirt and grime and darkness and soot
And carbon.
In the depths of his body, at the core.
Something pulses. Something glitters.
Something small. Something hard.
Something radiant.
Something eternal.

by John Champion

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