A slow psychedelic ache of light;

I separate out into segments

Dip a toe in iced water,

Trap fingernails in a doorframe,

Flick a fly from an eyelash,

Suck sangria through a striped paper straw,

Watch as humans swagger, saunter, stagger,

Each in equal brazen measure.

You remain resolutely intact,

Determined to talk me round;

Your words crochet the air,

Gathering me into a mesh so fine

While we sip wine from the chipped teacups

Of the Mad Hatter’s broken bar.

Later, the city heaves a sigh and spits us out;

We are in exile, desert patterned.

I brush my hair as the lightning crackles

And you turn your back

To blow cigarette smoke at the sputtering storm.

Aftermath appears in Larissa Reid’s pamphlet, Caesura (2022).

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