The Twilight Sleep II by Alice Tomlinson

We bring them in, bursting with promise, sweet in sherbet-coloured nighties, bright spring flowers picked during a gale. We smooth wild hair and swaddle pretty heads in bales of soft …

Dare by Mark Pajak

You dare me to cross Bently road naked. Its three a.m. and we’re the only two awake and its icy and streetlights shy down their yellow. On the tarmac my …

Crocodile (1st prize: 2017 competition)

I know how I will die then in a death roll scales to my cheek claws sunk into my pale shoulders water burning my throat like whiskey the uncountable rows …

The Experiment by Jane Draycott

Dearests I have arrived. Some things have already been taken: the small blue bowls and airmail stationery, the summer tablecloth (only slightly blue) and the darkness is now quite cleared. …

Augurs by Oli Hazzard

during the course of a particular day the word shapen happens sharpens how I see the snow how I know it is what it is only listening to it glistening …

Many Bird Roast by Rachael Allen

I came in, dandy and present arguing for a moratorium on meat of the kind splayed out on the table, legs akimbo like a fallen-over ice skater skidding on her …

Kissing Edwin Morgan by Roddy Lumsden

seems uncanny because he is gay and I am straight and because the day is especially cold. A hungry kisser, kissing him brings out the hive that is him. A …

john

i do not know my grandfather, who is a famous photographer who works primarily in black and white. although i know he is not a large man, i think of …

The Littlest Giant

In the bolted summer grass, he’s just another over-grown boy fiddling the stem of his pen, sipping a cup of tea.                 The …

I Watched a Soldier Aim as the Deaf Boy

I watched a soldier aim as the deaf boy took iron and fire in his mouth – his face on the asphalt, that map of bone and opened valves. It …

mineral intimacy

unabashedly love the minerals of you / I always was a wind-fuckèd gull for the White Cliffs pressd hard & lithic between the lower elements of yr lips / When …