Keeping Tabs


Animosities billow like sharply exhaled smoke at a pavement café. I said, you said, and words flare into a burning point that could take out a child’s eye as soon as it can satisfy that unhealthy itch. There’s a war going on, but it’s almost slipped out of the news, and there’s every chance we’ll be sleeping in abandoned cars by the time the real cold hits, yet there’s an ugly need to stain our fingers yellow and taint our every exchange with lung-deep poison. None of it matters, but idle hands can’t resist the scratch of sulphur against phosphorous and our chests need to feel the weight of our brief mortality. Disease circulates and growth is stunted. It’s nothing at all but words, words, words: I said, you said, until silence stubs everything into smoke that we’ll smell in our hair when we wake up alone.



Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor

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