• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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Sunsets Always Fade to Black

The sky is my best memory of it,
a reddish violet, sometimes lavender,
a far, far colour before the brightness
of streetlamps poured down sheets
of luminesque. In the fog that light
seemed like stardust from a galaxy
far, far, far away, some place on
the edge of my daydreams that
played out in the Odeon Theatre.

Our village had a brass band that
infected the air with bleating noise.
Drove the dogs crazy. It drove old
widow Cragg’s macaw crazy, too.
Or might’ve been that widow Cragg
went crazy. Facts as truth – that
bird hung itself on its birdie swing.
Somebody did wrong to that bird,
but nobody’s raising a hand for it.

My mum always told me that ours
was a tiny island, surrounded by
nothing but greedy water licking
at the shores. She said there was
nought out there beyond the bare
horizon, everything was metabolised –
I think that’s the word she used.
So I never bothered, never thought
to look beyond the line of seaweed


Sunsets Always Fade to Black

that knitted itself into driftwood.
Not until my thirteenth birthday, that is,
when I took my bike to the other
side of the island and discovered
that there was a bridge out of here.
I didn’t hesitate – speed in my feet,
I biked straight into a tiny village
with streetlamps and an Odeon,
just like ours back home.

But like I said, and often still do,
the sky is my best memory of it.