Twenty-Five.

25/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

‘I am a sex atheist’, he said
looking at my chest
his hand strangling a can of PBR

‘this is not America’, he said
eyes squinting a hint
his glasses need fixing

I am still not sure what he meant
does he not believe in sex?
as in fucking or our body pieces?

maybe this is a man who just wants
no religion, no morals and just
pure, unadulterated body slapping but

right now
I am going to put my two fingers
in the small of your back
like a gun

and you will do what I say
and you will know what I mean
even though you know
my hands are my only weapons

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Mayday mayday mayday
This is Her Majesty’s naval observance outpost, Dover.
Does anyone copy?
Hello? Please, someone reply
I don’t know how this machine works
If anyone can hear me, please copy
My name is Alan
I’m not even in the navy
I’m just the cleaner
Nobody’s here
They all left an hour ago
And I don’t think they’re coming back
Oh please, help
Please, somebody come in
It’s what we all feared
Just like in the papers
Big cruise ship came in
Shooting straight for the beach
They tried hailing it
Tried every channel there was
Pushed all the buttons
More buttons than I’ve ever seen em push
I stood with my mop
Watched em all turn red
And this ship just kept coming
Ran aground. Sand whining against steel
4000 tonnes pushing up onto that groaning coast
Men up here shouting, arms waving about
We’ll go sort this out, they said
Every last one
Been quiet up here of late. Routine, you know
Gets to everyone in the end
So they all poured out like a plug had been pulled
And here I am, standing in a puddle of mop water
In an empty station, nothing but blinking lights
Watching out the windows, silent, like an old film
And I see em reach the ship
It’s all wonky, drunk-like
And they stand there with megaphones and shout things I can’t see
And there’s this stillness
The old grey hulk of a ship
And these lines of rigid grey men
And the steel grey sea
All holding their breath
And then this shriek sounds in our speakers
It’s the emergency sirens
Haven’t been used since the war
Bomb announcements, all that
And they’re letting out this horrid squeal
And this noise
Like millions of people stood around in the cold
And all chattered their teeth together
And then I hear it closer
Like it’s in here
Like it’s right in here
And then the floor is surging like waves
And I’m up on a table before I know
And all I can hear is this rush of teeth and nails and screeching
And I look at the floor and it’s rats
Rats everywhere. Hundreds. Thousands.
Can’t see the lino for their bodies
And the noise like a million crickets
They’re screaming past all in the one direction
Tails like worms and this screaming screaming
And then they’re gone. Not a breath of wind.
And I clamber down and look out the window
And the world is gone mad
Every bit of the earth, every scrap of sand or grass or bitumen
Every single thing there is is grey and heaving
And it’s rats. Billions and billions
Piss-bolting onto the sand
Piss-bolting towards that old boat
These white cliffs all dark and churning
And those boys in their uniforms are swamped
Flailing and holding their mouths in big Os
And those rats just keep running
And then they all stop dead. Not a patch of earth anywhere
And I think all the rats in Britain must be on this beach
And every tiny black eye is trained on that goddamn boat
Even our boys have turned to look at it
And then.
And then.
There’s a shift on the deck. A shudder.
And I think to myself, it’s a huge old mop
Must be bigger than a car
A tank
Why’d anyone make one that big
And it’s rolling and roiling
And then one huge clawed foot slams up on the railing
And it’s not a mop
It’s not a mop
It’s a rat
It’s a rat
It’s a fucking giant fucking rat
And it’s half the ship
And it’s rolling its head back
And this maw of its mouth opens
And even from here
I can hear the scream
And it’s picked up by those billion mouths on the beach
And they scream
And they scream
And they’re turning
And they’re running
And they’re screaming
And the rats
And the rats
And the rats

*

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