of old mother earth
has ground to a halt.
Armed soldiers lead you up a steep path that winds through sharp corners. “Don’t look down,” they tell you; and you listen.
Nick stirs; he rolls towards you, voice slurred with sleep. “What time is it?”
“Time to move.”
There was a funny series of sounds, bit like a firecracker. I raised my fist to knock again when I heard it. The buzzing I’d taken for cicadas was louder at this door.
She couldn’t remember seeing them where they usually were; on the table by the coat stand. Maybe Charles hid them again, to avoid her ‘becoming too distracted from her wifely duties’.
I was in a night palace. The blackness poured into every chink in the landscape.
Above me, the moon looked like a round window. Someone was at home and they had left the light on.
Each spine shows withered cracks, from years of being pulled apart and pored over. The sight is comforting, familiar, though the longer I stare, the more their pages start to look frail, like those autumn leaves you can crush with your foot.
I place the new scissors in exactly the same spot as his old pair. Shut the lid of his hairdressing toolbox carefully, leaning over it to muffle the click with my bosom. Crunching toast, he doesn’t even glance over as his favourite scissors drop into the trash. The silver handles glint in the darkness but an overripe banana sinks them,