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Issue Two

Imogen Cassels




Is her body beautiful, like a shipwreck? Are her cheekbones bright as the horizon?


Is she curved like the tides? Are her lips like the pink seam of a conch-shell? And

are they lined with pearls? Are her eyes sunken treasure, framed with silver

fishtails? Is her breath wind through the palm trees? Has she footsteps

like water kissing goodbye? Is her laugh a blue-bubbled stream of oxygen?


If only beauty were the shadow-sunken shells of her breasts and hips,

her face a photograph of sea-lost souls, ribcage like rigging. Her mouth

a seaweed bud, sealed; eyes like rock-pools, lichen-touched below the lids.

Her breath often salty. I don’t remember her leaving. No. She cried like

the seagulls, silver bubbles were the last thing she saw, and when found,

she floated like an undiscovered island.



from This Summer


July 16th – Lydgate Park


we lie under the canopy,

the green light


the heat makes time slow


honey-drops in the park


strawberry sauce and the salt

sweat of my hands, tastes like

when I was young


always each summer the last


tangled in the crowns of small trees


the flowers are pink holes

in the fabric of the hour


walk home barefoot, over blue tarmac

that hardens the soles of our feet.




24th July – Stowe


faded goose-ghost wings

watch lost stars of satellites;

late-night eyes of cars.


frame the gold hill house

where four yellow pillars kiss

the eye of the night.



needles make sun-stopping

face of a sugar-moon.



25th July – Stowe Chapel


In the chapel we have found

a new grandfather god. We nest


like strange birds in the dark throat

of the organ, and sigh and sit


our minds in the comfort of its

base notes, tip our feathered


heads back and tune ourselves

to it. When we talk the throb of


its sonore makes our skulls fragile

and our voices strong.


I want to live under the arches

of its antique wings.




August 8th – Denbank Drive


We listen in silence

talking with the bass, our naked feet


trumpet on her knees,

an outsized silver charm

to match the dark bracelets

that lace her wrists


we drink the champagne

bought with Mahler’s 5th symphony

and squeeze a trio of harmonicas

from the corners of our mouths,

a funny sort of laughter


* * *


Walking home the street is tawny

with street lamps and the snug

cat’s eyes of houses


lapis lazuli the sky, still,

with deep sunk ripples in the

semi-precious stone of the evening


like the teeth of things that swim in far-off oceans

like pocketed promises

like agate

like leaves



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