Queen of the four vignettes

She is a blurred Madonna, hovering like smoke in slanted light. Has she come to save me? he wonders. Is this the end? He is in bed, an old man with photographs he can no longer make out. He is sitting, propped up in the late afternoon, when she first appears. He sees well enough…

Seven days between

“He’s Brandoesque.” This is what Farud’s wife is saying about the guy in the jeans and the red t-shirt; the one who has just walked into the restaurant and made the ladies gasp. Farud looks him up and down and wonders what it would feel like to be so effortlessly charismatic. Though handsome enough himself,…

The man with the same name

I keep my ex-lover’s secret; safe as the house we once shared. On her side of the bed, another sates the curiosity I now regret. Not her fault. Mine. Did I start it? Maybe, maybe not. I had known for years that it would come to this; sitting next to him, knowing she was marking…

Letter to the passser-by

You caught me looking. I can imagine your reaction. Dirty old man! I will not undress for your gaze. Your sneer left a barb in me. It smarts; yet is not a wound. More like a bruise on the world. I did not see an object, nor play a scene in my head. Instead, I…

Love letter # 479 In gods, I do not believe. In destiny, I place no trust. Neither do I look for signs in stars. But you! In you there is every reason to believe. I did not manifest you. You are not an answered prayer. You are so much more than a wish fulfilled. I…

Love letter # 507 With you, I was beautiful. It was transformative. It changed the way I saw the world. As though, with your eyes, I could see through the congealed disappointment of years. Where darkness and doubt once reigned, in your advent, light and liberty were unfurled. Until then, you were the gorgeous detail…

A Christmas coming out scene

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXTRACT FROM OUR RECENTLY PUBLISHED NOVEL THE LAST SUMMER OF HAIR. As the afternoon progresses and the heat sits thicker on the dry land, the Salter clan work their way through copious helpings of barbecued meat, slabs of lager and numerous bottles of cheap, sweet bubbles. Tissue paper hats and broken crackers…

Love letter # 545 I saw you in the evening. You turned your golden head toward me. Eternity moving slow. Some things you remember with the circle of breath.

Love letter # 514 I said, “Show me a sign.” You said, “There are no signs.” Of course. Only in the absence of signs. From here on, I shall practise emptiness, such that I may fill with your light unobstructed. Now I shall attend to the silence, such that I may know your quiet voice….

Love letter # 0.1 All the light did was shine. And there you were.