Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It started unremarkably,
like many regimes. We sat like children
making quiet things indoors. The rivers

burst their staves and soaked the folds mid-
country; they were schlepping people out in pedalos,
and punting through cathedrals saving cats. One lad

clearing out his granddad’s drain was still caught
when the waters lapped the record set in 1692.
Imagine. News-teams donned their somberer cagoules.

The house had more floors than we knew. In twenty years
we’d never spent so much time in one room. I’d no idea
you had a morbid fear of orange pips, or found French novelists

oppressive. On the seventh day, completely hoarse,
we took to drawing on the walls and staging tableaux.
In delirium all actions feel like role-play –

protein-strands against the ooze, the animals we made –
and rain, a steady broadcast on all wavelengths,
taught us everything we know about the tango. Only

when we grew too thin for metaphors was rain just rain.
We thought about the drowned boy, how he watched
the lid of water seal him in, for all his bright modernity.

Was it a Monday morning when the garden was returned,
tender with slugs, astonished at itself? Our joined hands
were the last toads in the ark. We walked, we needed news.

By: Tiffany Atkinson

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