Cover art by Lucienne Dorrance


The summer blistered
the green gloss off windows
painted in the spring
with a shimmering
blowtorch of an August sun.
I  worried,
wilful and destructive,
at the flaky bits, watched
by a tiny, tailless gecko.

It wasn’t until January—
the cold bit so hard
it cut through flesh
and gnarled my knuckles
into swollen bumps—
that I found
a tiny, tailless
leathery corpse
crushed between frame
and shutter.

I could no longer recognise
my disabled hands.
Cherry Blossoms

Seduced too soon
by the anticipation
of coming splendours
I couldn’t see
the cherry blossoms
in fields that lined
the road to the Roman villa.
I sought only
man-made perfection.

Hadrian never caught
last, heaving bus
back to Rome from Tivoli—

Anxiously I peered
out of smeary windows
at those adorned branches.
Evening had just begun
to leach blue
from the spectrum—
that secret time
at dusk
when crimson
& scarlet can save
the fading day
with the mystery
that is colour.
The cathedral tower
has a clock on every side.
Like four fluorescent moons
they wax yellow
in the mucky orange
twilight of city streetlamps.
They rise at six o’clock—
more constant
than the real moon tonight
lost in orbit
lost at sea
& swallowed
in a storm of slate
grey waves pounding
an indigo sky.


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