• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 12
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Under surveillance

A hot day, warm sand, nothing for him to do
except lie in the sun, enjoying the holiday,
the solitude he has promised himself,
to listen to waves lapping, seabirds calling ... and an irritating sandfly whining.
He swats it away from time to time –
the only thing
spoiling the bliss of this afternoon.

On the cliff behind, a woman with binoculars,
her twin lenses trained on him, pausing
her scrutiny only to take another bite of her sandwich,
another sip of soda – or to jot down a note.
"He keeps raising his arm. Maybe he knows
he's being watched and wants us to know
he knows," she writes in a laboured longhand,
"or perhaps he's signaling to an accomplice."

She admires his tan, his choice of beachwear,
the length of his limbs ... those legs ...
puzzles again at his raised arm, the
wrist flick,
sweeps her lenses back and forth,
up and down
the beach, see's nothing suspicious,
their resolution insufficient to detect
a gnat at such distance.


Under surveillance

Sighing, she rises, collapses her fold-up stool, scuffs over
the indentations it has left in the grass,
stows it, empty can and food wrapper
in her canvas bag,
takes one more look at his bronzed flesh, before packing
her binoculars and pad ... but stops ...
to scribble one last note at his latest hand gesture.
"Conclusion – suspect he is innocent.
Not waving, just browning".