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Novel

Alun Rowlands

IN WORD SHADOWS
fingers cut from a glove
silver bag of box wine flows
the weather comes inside our clothes
we mouth it
to each other
what we think we know
happens when we blink
To this dark time
we toast
with full mouths
our own cups
open
slowly touch our chins together



Running
like dogs
on the sidewalk
away from empty buses
just missing nothing
the funny spelling
comes over us!
With no word for help
with no word for thank
with no word for you
we’re not sure
where the lipstick came from
which covers us now
and the flag
that has no top or bottom.
Sisters and brothers and brothers and sisters and sisters
chime in
to the score of the foam
left high on bank walls
chime in
to double trouble
the cloud in scaffolding
growing to climb
shirtless
with kickball under the shirt set loose
and styrofoam destroyed in joy over
piss stinking M.C. Escher staircases
finger snaps are where we walk



And in the echo is terror
and down the alley the light we block
precedes us
and is one body
,Mother of Friends,
we can’t do more right
than wrong
when out of thirst
we tip toe
with fingers find a window
of heat
to pass through a slashed screen
carrying someone
else’s television
our eyes will never see on
Behind the knitted ski word
Is a kiss
With our hand
We will pay to get in

Barry MacGregor Johnston ‘In Word Shadows’, Novel issue 1, p.12-13