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: