Doctor Placebo was asked
If he could vouchsafe
One true thing at least.
I have abandoned certainties, he said
Or perhaps they have abandoned me.
The speed of light remains constant
In a vacuum, of that I am reasonably certain
Though disproof is still possible
At the unreached edges of the universe.
And there’s mortality, of course.
Charles Péguy remarked in Clio
That History constitutes dark reflections
Upon falling things.
Shortly afterwards History assassinated him
For this impertinence.
Placebo operated on himself
These manoeuvres at least
Alerted him to the heart’s attentiveness
Its red alert on encountering
A foreign body.
He also acknowledged at last
(As he administered rigorous post-operative care)
The value of accurate stitching,
An art he had once thought
Medieval remnants of the true cross
A fragment of James Dean’s last car
An image, however contrived, of the Cottingley Fairies
The Hitler Diaries
A first edition of Sigmund Freud: Collected Works
Pip and Joe Gargery’s larks
A photograph of Eva Braun’s false teeth
Propped up by the Hippocratic Oath