The Man Who Was Trapped Inside A Stock Photography Catalogue

You will see me smiling
on overcrowded tube trains,
gloating over my home insurance policy,

pointing triumphantly at a sales report,
to the incredulity of my colleagues,
in corporate brochure spreads,

beachcombing with my Facebook family
in a glossy back page advert
in a doctors’ grubby waiting room.

I’m pristine; my white teeth gleam,
blue eyes twinkle, I possess no wrinkles.
My hair is impeccably tousled.

I am subject to the tyranny of perfection;
an ad agency’s immaculate conception
with inbuilt marketing collateral damage.

Just for once, I would like my spreadsheet
not to add up, or my shirt to be stained,
or have my stock photography wife and kids up

and leave me when my drinking gets too much
following poorly-made investments with the money
I stole from a charity box for crippled orphans.

At least it’s quiet in between assignments,
as I sit and wait here, in the catalogue,
and reflect upon this terrible beauty
we have both been born into.

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