The World Behind

It might be better to live in a cave, plant a few trees at the entrance, burn brush out back. The leaves will cover the sun, cool the rock. The stench of burnt wood keep away mosquitoes. It isn’t a romantic abode; it isn’t a hermit’s camp. Sleeping as the night spins, as stargazers stiffen in fright when comets become bronze stars fixed to the sky, pinned like butterfly specimens in the age of barbarians. A narrow stream runs alongside the cave. The water is frigid. A school of thin iridescent fish lives there. Neon green, luminescent yellow. Nothing bothers them. They flash at night, sleep in the day. From time to time, a passing child, gathering sticks for a shelter. Some always left behind the trees, the lower branches of hemlock or birch fallen after a storm. There aren’t any stories to tell, the days flutter along, the nights spin out of control as the sky bends over and over, comets glazing the clouds, stars pitting the remaining atmosphere. When there are no more trees to plant or brush to burn, it might be better to abandon the cave and look for sticks with the passing child.



Andrea Moorhead
Picture Rupert Loydell






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