• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 04
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I cannot unsee you, you are everywhere.
The noose around your neck,
The last gasp you never made,
Still echoing around the spaces you inhabited
And others you didn’t, inside my head.

Strutting the catwalk, hair unkempt.
Face barely visible, is there even make-up on?
Coat unbuttoned, rubber flashing,
A flash of rubber or leather maybe?
Revealing blubber, pink blubber,
High fashion, not for the masses.
What small fragments will they take
To unleash on us all?
Some decide to laugh.
Others try not to cry.
There’s two-way embarrassment.
They’ve gone too far this time
Or maybe not far enough.
The masks are slipping. I see you.

Art gallery – an empty wall with only a figure.
Slightly off-centre.
Is it a model or is it living?
Turn on the jets,
Let the canaries sing.
That root reminds me of a walk along the riverbank,
Where the children played with kingly staffs
Of giant hogweed, cut and dried – unknowing.
Which will be more deadly?



We are all still here.
A ball of tendrils like a frayed rope
Where the policeman had cut with the knife.
Is it enough to stop you breathing, when submerged?
Is it enough to slacken what’s left around your windpipe?

Long grasses, billowing,
Between the river and the woods,
Blue skies and every shade of green
The khaki of uniform
Scares the birds away.
The tree – your tree – has camouflaged itself.
It bears no shame, but it is comforting.
And all at once I am unseeing.
You were never here at all.
Red squirrels scurry along the stiffest branch
Where children will attach a skipping rope.
A sturdy stick will make a seat
Until it snaps – nothing like a neck breaking –
And you will be gone from me forever.