After the Picnic

Our cups are empty, magnets for mice. They come with twigs, rags, and pulped pages from passports with covers as blue as veins. Vein to vain to vane: we’ve steered this hopeless course believing we know best but the best laid plans of mice and men form a Venn diagram with an empty cup at the centre, which looks like the pattern of iron filings dispersed around a magnet or sound waves rippling on a cup of coffee. But there’s no coffee and our cups and coffers are empty, and we cough to crack the embarrassed silence, each hack rattling like dry earth on a coffin bearing nothing but twigs, rags, and anonymous photos steamed from blue passports. The chipped edges of empty cups cut cute skin from cuticle to curiously raised eyebrow, a futile sacrifice to pass the time and inject a sense of urgency straight into the vein. In vain the weathervane stutters, then stops, entwined in vines which promise wine and, later, roses. Rows of coffins line our walls, with twigs and rags on cushions the colour of pulped passports, and mice roar like iron in empty cups




Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor

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