August 9, 2019

Sand in the carpets, trodden in for years. Leading from the beach, through the garden, to his mother, who washed it down the plughole’s spiral in the same en suite where he

and a girl once slid their costumes to one side, the day they tempted a bucketful of crabs with mussels. Took them back to forget them, while they angled their murk

of blind kisses and scratching gropes, till imitation grew bold enough to show her neat, tucked wavelets of flesh; his slack worm cast’s puckered sack. Bored by their premature nothing-more,

the sudden confusion of ozone smell and emptying bucket brought them back: the click-clack of claws on plastic, shells hard against the skirting board, sidling, stalk-eyed, desperate for the nooks and crannies.

Craig Dobson

When it happened

August 9, 2019

It could be a little rectangle of sunlight
sitting on the windowsill at dawn
preserved for as long as the earth
sits still and for what reason
but for any number of reasons
it could be a wren in the branches
turning its head toward the shadow
of light at the woman who sits
slumped in a chair, dead.

It could be the inner coherence of nature
when a breeze kicks over
knocking the screen door open then shut
or the instinct of a neighbour who stops by
for coffee and a cigarette, it could be
the soul’s animosity that complicates
the balance of things, loosening the breeze,
throwing the curtain open, creating consequences.
It could be terror announcing itself.
It could be anything.

There is no way of knowing.

Lisa Zaran