Creature Unknown

The hand on my face presses down, sliding its fingers into my gills. No oxygen, no screaming, I suppose it thinks. My mouth proves otherwise. I have teeth, I have lungs, I have a voice that belts out an alert to all around me. There is a creature here wanting to crush you. It’s got me. Stay back, else it will get you, too.

The end of the emporium

Neat golden lettering on marbled paper

bleached

by time and its sun.

A pair of scales hangs in mid-air,

weighing the light

of the lamps flickering in distaste.

Half rotten and full of cobwebs,

an enchanted gimmick

made

to float and sing

and make the room smell

of sweet perfumes.

Scraping off the sign has such finality.

We watch,

turning up the collars of our long coats

as we try to warm our ears.

The Button

I see it. The button:

press in event of emergency.

Go on, then, press it.

But I don’t know what will happen!

Ah, that’s the fun of it.

Press it.

If…if you insist.

I don’t insist on anything.

You’re the one insisting.

After all, you’re talking

to yourself.

There’s no-one else left here

now.

It’s just you.

Press it.

A tale

With charcoal in one hand

and chalk in the other,

we mark out the fate of the world.

Dark melts into light

and light crashes into dark.

We trap it

with markings on great walls

of caves amidst the smoke

of carefully set bonfires.

Flames that can predict the future.

We see ourselves riding

on the backs of river dragons,

racing from the molten chase.

If we were a map

We drift.

We wave.

We high five

those we always see

those we’ve never met

those we’ve met but don’t see

those we’ve seen around but don’t know until we meet.

We wonder how many times

our lines have crossed

in the chaotic waterfall that drowns everything,

focused on the X that marks the path

but not life.

We steady.

We beckon.

We say our goodbyes.

The time I saw a quarter

It looks exactly like victory – if you squint a little. A hungry mouth waiting to swallow the world up whole, too famished to savour the taste. Someone once told me that taking such a meal would never truly sustain a person: half of a half, carrying on in a waking dream fishing for starfish to throw at the sky.

Pin-cushion

Do they know about the secrets kept sewn into your pockets? You brush shoulders with them everyday, spilling reflections from your shoes. People have always been bad at spotting fake images. You don’t want to close the circle, but the ice is drawing in fast.