The Day the Beach Filled Up


The day the beach filled up

Dunthorne munched liquorice,

wiping sugar into corduroy.


Mackenzie bought staples in bulk,

losing dozens down the radiator

as he sat all morning

tiring the springs of his hole-puncher.


Wright lay still in a coat,

chilli sauce on his lip,

throat a mousetrap.


Penlington paused at the mirror,

deciding on a moustache.


Sutherland, forearms red and puffy

from a whiskey-buffeted tumble into a nettle patch,

leant staring, repulsed,

by a peeling window frame.


Stickley did thirteen cryptic crosswords,

scratched a rash across the back page,

then pootled into the kitchen

and salted a slug.


Osborne was carried off, cursing.

That evening he smoked his first liquorice cigarette

down to the filter.






From “Disoccidented” by Alfie Shoyger:


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