Silvius Bonus, Visa Overseer

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Round shore-forts now unfit to fend off Saxons the ancient woods advance contravallations. The dead queue up here, as real as the living. I can treat with either at leisure, fearing neither blame nor approval. The applicants detained to fast track their claims are clean, pliant, focused, souls insensate, minds happily busy. I can retreat to fantasies or sally out towards them, yes, use facilities to grant asylum, kick them into the long grass, make flat refusals, shuffle papers, doss, imagine heaven’s reception desks, a siege peopled with bottom grade white collar staff whose shirts are isabelline yellow, cuffs week-old-Salade-Niçoise-boiled-egg-beige. But grandiose and crude, the liturgy is much at work in queues: humans at once useless, neighbourly, the collimated light sticky with burnt sugar, powdered bone, downdrafted ozone forecasting the storms, the comfort of each atomising wave.