Happened to someone else,
some place else. Until now,
I greet these hot, wet, wide eyes.

Here comes that red double-decker
bus, with this same number,
that I rode from South London

to those West End Saturday night
clubs, in my teens, in bellbottoms,
afro and high heels.

My father never reached my age,
dead before 52. I look like him now,
caught up with myself in rapid

time, in an offhand year, counting
down to naught by counting up.


Fred D’Aguiar


53 by Fred D’Aguiar first appeared in Bare Fiction Magazine Issue 1 in December 2013.