Issue Five

Autumn 2012


Sea View

When her youngest takes everything
he can’t pack to Oxfam and heads
at first light for Inverness, she weeps
into the wrinkled shine of late summer sand,
listens to shingle hiss the receding tide,
and buries her heart in a cheek shaped hollow
cold in the Sussex flint.

When her kindest lover yet hears enough
he shoves his full plate like a snooker shot:
Christmas crockery smashed in her lap
and the rest of what may’ve sustained them
splatters her flat.

Caught on the icy back stair
tight lipped in slippers, she bites her tongue
clean off, sees it sizzle down to the shore
where it steams itself in the shallows.

When her last friends drift, they wave.
She turns away, slips into scuffed kitten heels
to sling back gins at a windswept bar

till all she’s left is a rust-licked wall to climb.
Sea swallows stars and iron steps bleed,
serve her again up to another night’s blur.
She stands by the breadth of her bed
stares out the thickening pane, on the swell
dark, still fresh.



Fay Musselwhite



silver fractal