Adagietto for String Section & Solo Harp – Steven John

Our limbs are numb with bed heat
rippled from storm-wrecked sheets
with the scent of animal, rut stained
wisps of matted hair, raked skin

We’re sex-shocked, faces hollow
coal-eyed, swallowed
and sweated, ferrets
slithering from the bloody burrow

Shattered plates on the carpet
collateral damage from the tango
that swept table space for body parts
which we ate like cannibals

Naked, febrile after the kill and kill
squeezing teabags on the sides of mugs
we infuse the moment
in short, hushed sentences

Under steaming water we swim
our hands in each other
then dress and grieve the covering
of addictive fruit.

We sit, your head in my lap
I scoop your tears in the crook of my finger
and drink them. You say you’re not crying
We listen to Mahler

and hear the darkness of passing cars.
Lights descend from the purple sky
we drive to the airport to watch planes
and whisper names of countries.


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Steven John lives in The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, UK and writes flash fiction, short stories and poetry. He has had work published in writing group pamphlets and on short fiction and poetry websites including Riggwelter Press, Reflex Fiction and Fictive Dream. In December 2017 Steven won the inaugural Farnham Short Story Competition and has won Bath Ad Hoc fiction four times. Steven has read from his work at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Stroud Short Stories, The Bard of Hawkwood and The Flasher’s Club.
Twitter: @StevenJohnWrite


Image: LunarSeaArt via Pixabay

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