The Pride of Liars


Where does pride go after the fall? Take, for example, a prince with a price on his head, with a monster under his bed, and with a sweat-stained shirt that he swears he’s never seen before. Or, a public schoolboy with a lopsided tie, a lopsided grin, wine-sour breath, and blood on his cynically clapping hands. What happens when the crown slips and the glass breaks, when the escort’s fingers – can I say escort? can I say fingers? – when the escort’s fingers are twitchy on their triggers, when the bigger picture intrudes with its skeletons in closets and cabinets, and its bone-dry contracts signed with false names in bodily fluids? Can I say bodily fluids? So, what happens when the rug’s pulled, the sheets are tugged aside, and pride twists in the air like a handful of mirrors reflecting smug buggers’ faces and the inevitable smash of a lifetime of bad luck for all concerned? Take, for example, the haunted eyes of the weakest of the pack, his back stabbed by those who once stroked or scratched. Then, take down these flags to burn through the long winter nights. All fall down. All fall down. Pride is thin, sick smoke at nightfall, long after mirrors have been swept away.


Oz Hardwick



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