Issue #8


Fingertips held behind his back

Trace an absent-minded, silent prayer.


He walked in contemplation

Down the street alive with chaos, where suitcases

Lie open and cavernous and scattered,

Wet with scarlet lives.

The wiry strings of a ripped violin

Twist towards overcast skies,

Memories still, silent, gone.

Retching in stink and squalour

He choked thickly, blood clotting like acid.

Forced into a cold prison,

He was promised purity with a sinister chuckle. He met instead

Cold and bare and blank stares -

Grasping hands, gasping mouths

Screaming, like the scrape of a knife down a blackboard

Echoing in an empty classroom.

Their tarnished stars of ugliness offer the Final Solution

To a howling nation of tyranny.

And cleansing commenced with an insidious hiss,

As he raised his arms to the invisible water.

Alexandra Bayles