Matthew Word Bain
2 min readJun 26, 2022
© Matthew Word Bain

the colorful globe with cheerful polka dots
that used to grace the skyline above the coin laundry
must have come down years ago now
leaving only a slender stalk
to catch the sun

I’ll be honest
searching for that globe
was one reason I chose to walk
this stretch of road

maybe I should
have looked around
behind the laundromat
for any shattered remnants
of this whole, former self

or maybe I didn’t need
to find anything in particular
outside of myself, walking
carrying within myself
sufficient wholeness
to atone for any
shattering of
an external whole

it meant something to me
more than just an attractive bauble
as though I vested something of myself in it
like the fragment of soul a child hides for safe keeping
when the world is not safe enough for the tenderer parts to remain

any fragile whole
like such a cheerful
glass globe on display
can be as much a liability
as it might provide benefit

over time there may come to be
a certain necessity for dissolution
something not free of violence
as sometimes what is whole
must be broken in order
for the new to emerge

like an egg breaks
to admit of
a bird
a bud
of a flower
the animate self
leaving behind the shell
of its former self as it moves on

I’ve seen a lot get broken in this town
some of it happening in the mirror
some of it happening outside
some of it a matter of inheritance
some of it through cultural transmission

but this is no longer where I live
nor does it represent
my center of
I have risen
above the clanking
metal of those heavy chains
and float by from time to time as
the wind carries me and also as I choose



Matthew Word Bain

purveyor of stochastic resonance | pilgrim of blur | describing diaphaneity by way of ambiguity |