His daily after-shower sour
by Charl JF Cilliers
garlic smell, discharged from every pore,
went with him from breakfast into bed
and hung like a fog around his twitching head.
It rose up from his repetitious clothes
which he kept flicking at like one who loathes
a sightless imperfection somewhere in the air.
His smile was blindly grim, his focus queer,
as if he saw two visions with one stare.
The townsfolk coldly watched him hawk and spit at them
and cursed as the slow, lethargic slugs of phlegm
crawled along the pavement at their feet.
Those who saw him far too late to beat
a hasty and yet dignified retreat
stared surreptitiously at one another, venom in their eyes,
hatred which they claimed they so despised:
and so they shared all they had to give:
a bond more binding even than their love.