Izzy circle


holding my head in a bathroom stall
at the British Consulate,
eating the sun
touching faces
our brains made of fairy floss
and lips like battery acid

in the blinding light of Mars rising
our souls blinked
Mars moved
this ain’t the end
unless you say it
croon it

the guttural croak of goodbye
catching on your tongue like hooks
this is a flute stop
this is raw cheeks
and spent palms
this is only Mars rising


Sarah circle


See that dude at the bar?
Been there since opening.
Hasn’t moved a muscle.
Hunched like a quarterback.
Prune-juice face dripping into a beer.
Must be a hundred.
Must be a thousand.
Seen his belt buckle?
Shaped like a wolf.
Total pussy magnet.
Musta been fucking since 1843.
I hear he screwed Marilyn Monroe.
Elizabeth Taylor.
Queen Elizabeth II.
Dude’s still got it.
Eyes all squinched up
Pupils sliding languid round the corners.
Takin’ it all in.
See those hands?
Gun-slinger hands.
Horse-rider hands.
Hands to pull out a man’s heart.
Show it to him while he dies.
I heard he was a daredevil.
Jumped off the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Not even a bungee cord to hold him.
Did all of Buster Keaton’s stunts.
Went over the Niagara Falls in a barrel.
See that twitch in his shoulders?
He knows we’re talking.
He can hear trouble.
Smells fear.
Once lived on tree moss and adrenalin.
For three months.
Four years.
Fought in the war.
Which one? All of them.
Hired by the government.
He’s a double agent.
He’s a quadruple agent.
He works for every country under the sun.
Plays them off like a deck of cards.
Hasn’t got a real name.
Lost it in a hand of poker.
He can make himself disappear.
You glance away for a second and he’s gone.
He’s been nursing that beer for hours.
It’s a cover.
A ruse.
He’s on the job.
Probably packing heat.
Probably strapped with dynamite.
Suicide mission.
Going out with a bang.
Saw his woman one last time.
Kissed the kid goodbye.
(Must be thousands of them, the kids.)
Kissed one of the kids goodbye.
Yeah, that’s it, the kids.
Yeah, that’s it.
He’s roaming the world.
Doing the rounds.
Saying goodbye.
Finding every squalling little bastard kid.
Stroking its head.
Winking at its mum.
Then vanishing into the night.
It’s been years.
Tracking down all those snotty little kiddies.
Every woman he ever left.
And tonight, it’s the last one.
One last beer.
One last kid to kiss.
And then he’s out.
What a dude.
What a fucking dude.
Raise your glasses, boys.
Next round’s on me.



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