Still August Nights

[originally published by Burnt Pine Magazine, no. 5, 28.02.2019]

Do you remember when we set the campfire in the summer? The six of us, too much cider, and I was the stranger amongst old friends because I’d barely left the city lights and everything was alien. The fire was all smoke, and heat we didn’t need in the still-bright sun, but we were celebrating new starts, the end of the season.

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Seaside Resort on the South Coast of England

[originally published by Kamena, vol. 1, no. 5, 23.02.2019]

The train took me alone down south to meet you. You were already there at the station as I stepped onto the platform, and it was almost—but not quite—like I never left. All the force as you hugged me, so I nearly overbalanced with the weight from my backpack, but you anchored my feet to the ground and I knew I was safe.

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One of the Darker Nights

[originally published by Kamena, 28.08.2018]

Down in the dark, the old man sits there and rubs his face
with the palm of his hand. He’s watching the computer screen
and he’s falling asleep, when a sound comes from the case

behind him. The case that remembers a certain teen
and his brave-faced grin in that dimly lit alleyway.
Behind him, a flash of red, yellow, green.

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Apis mellifera

[originally published by HCE Review, vol. 2, no. 4, 10.08.2018]

I am nineteen and Emma is twenty-three.

Driving home from Warwick over reading week, mum and I stop by the office where Emma works to pick her up. Mum works at the same place, in the administration department of an insurance firm on the outskirts of London. I worked there for three weeks when I was sixteen, flicking through files to get the staples out before I scanned the documents and put them in a box to shred. It was a different building when I was at the company, but the people have stayed the same. Office people do.

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[originally published by Haringey Unchained, vol. 2, 15.02.2017]

My eyes look so blue in this mirror, oceanic almost, and I wonder if it’s through these tides that his lunar gravity rules over me, or if it’s from the saltwater that makes rivers down my ripped up rain face, flooding over, banks breaking onto my cheeks. The drought of his absence dries all the water up, so I become the surface of another moon.

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