Pauses dotted their conversation | She had the fear | there was no one at the end of her voice | when she stopped speaking | there was a darkness, a scent of rotting apples, damp, summer heat, mould | Could he believe his way back into beauty? | It was a big ask | The years had gradually eroded his faith in such things | Alone, he wandered around the property | the fields, the scrubland near the perimeter fence | the blue rusting tractor parked in the woods | presumably for decades | a high-water mark | of effort or lethargy | She admired the crows | picking at the carcase of a rabbit | should she accept | the gift?

He rang from Marrakesh | She imagined the desert | a certain existential grace | a place one should not go | oddly dependable, in a calm, murderous way | a non plus ultra | The rebels were moving in | to the shattered outskirts of the town | once a government stronghold | In their bowl, the goldfish | with their lidless eyes | knew nothing of sleep | and so | she assumed | nothing of dreams, either | Without dreams, what could their endless waking be? | Slowly the past was claiming | her entire life | everything was turning | to memory | a petrified forest | where no birds sang | His thoughts | floated to the bottom of the silence | like the corpses of fish | settling on the sea-bed | They abandoned the reforms | bowed to the Right | and this ushered in | a difficult period for migrants | It was an anvil with no need for hammers | at once massive and delicate | The engine stopped, and no matter | what they tried | they couldn’t get it going again | And Henry meant to organise a truck | to tow | but

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from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

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