The Gallows

In the bath, I blink away the bubbling bubbles that taste of champagne. They pop and make my nose twitch. The bubbles contain images of bones and feathers and the eyes of a lover who washes herself in a biblical river. She’s not biblical, as such, but her bones are soaked in religious verse, and whichever way she turns, her future is cursed by the mythical exploits of a man who was never here. Outside, the din is typical of a Saturday. Raised voices. Traffic. Kids on their way to meet other kids and overgrown kids on their way to fuck strangers in bedsits when they should just stay in and read a good book with some wine. Not from a glass like some illiterate. Straight from the bottle, like a poet. And not a romance book, either. None of that shit. Something by Kafka. Or the bloke who wrote Torture Garden. The bubbles popping in my left ear are a soundtrack to a relationship lost at sea. Those popping in my right contain the chatter of old women on the bus I once took between Luton and St Albans as a kid. Their voices are as clear as the swishing water submerging my neurotic bones. Those old women once chirped about the banalest shit you could imagine, but now the memory of such chatter is like the fleeting music of birdsong long gone before daylight. Oh, to be a kid! To be a shiny soul roaming green fields in search of adventure far removed from the shadow of the gallows that haunt this adult world of mine. In the bubbles, such light is mine once again, but the second I reach out, perfection is sullied along with everything else.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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