The judge sneers as you start on the bottom. Oh, very clever,

you’ve read A User’s Manual, you are familiar with the classics

of contemporary French literature, yes, yes. You know

this is precisely the kind of thing that makes people think you’re guilty.

You find it hard to treat him seriously without most of his face,

and concentrate on dividing up the pieces into piles, by colour.


Let me tell you, it is no accident that you have no representation.

He raises his voice as you put aside several fragments of leg.

You can’t prove anything, you mumble without looking up.

It’s not my job to prove things, he says, I’m a judge.

Not so clever after all, are we? Give me that, for God’s sake,

We’ll be here forever. The judge joins you at your stand.


This belongs on the other side, look at the way the shadows fall

on the robe, and here is where Robert scratched the wood

with his absurd umbrella. This is clearly a chair, what were you thinking?

You tiptoe out of the courtroom and close the door with care.


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