Nether Street

My bike disappears into the dark, plummeting with the postman and the dog chasing him. There’s a black hole where the street should be. My new paper route is complicated. I let go at the right time.

Sophie’s house is opposite me. I know her from school. She drinks apple juice from decayed lava lamps.
“Mum says we need to recycle,” she told me once, her teeth tanned with sugar.
“You have it easy though, you can throw it all out of your window and it won’t be seen again.”

Her street owes me a new bike. She’s off-loading training bras out of her bedroom.
“OI!” I yelp.
“What?! I’m too old for them now.” She double takes. “Oh hi! How are you?”
“My bike’s gone.”
“So, today will take you a while.”
“Can I have it back?”
“Ask the government!” She slingshots a frilly, baby-blue breast nest into the void.
“But, I need it today.”
“We’ve wanted new tarmac for years… says Mum. It’s got worse.”
“How do you even get to school?”
She giggles. “I climb along all these buildings. Free running, woo! I want Mr Sanders to add it to the P.E curriculum.”
I look into the swirling street. The bras are drifting down, atoms replaced by nothing. Fibres erase to naked. The postman’s scream didn’t have a chance to materialize. My bike is vanishing with all of our shared years of BMX ramps and WD40, the scuffs and mud slides. I still have scars from the blackberry bush we head butted.
“They won’t disappear…” I mutter to myself.
“Why are you delivering on a Saturday?” Sophie’s voice leaps at me.
“I thought I’d have more time… Take the new route slower, get to know it…”
“Ah. Well, you’ll need a better plan for this street!” She laughs and disappears from the window for a moment. She then springs up and launches a rope made from her remaining training bras. The end lands by my feet at the edge of the curb, before the colour becomes a downward drain. “Do you wanna come up and hang?”
I look at my bag full of papers, at the Mayor’s stupid smiling face on the front page, all pumpkin-grin and fake tanned. I grab the bra-rope. “Why not? It’s recycling right?”
Sophie tugs on the rope and begins pulling me into her room. “I’ll teach you free running. And I bet you can’t wait to see the black hole in my room!”


A man put his one, two, threes in me
and counted like a child learning clocks.
He gave me the leather handshake and squeezed
as two women in white coo to calm.
I flush out what is to be tested
to know if I am to stop crossing my legs
or riding my bike, whether I’ll be
a naked Hitler, if I’ll ever get to meet
people on a personal level and teach
them life as I learnt it. He stops
counting and all of me is in a beaker,
spinning frantic in cloud syrup,
wondering if they’ll ever meet eggs,
or become part of me in blankets.

The Day I Forgot About Yeast

Breadmouth is talking about the fall of the economy

while we drown in the sinking pink sunset,

letting the geese fly off and out of the crèche

we built for them on the hillside, using wicker

and wicked thoughts, for freedom is featherless.

We’ve been here every month, catching every one

with the loose crumbs of our speech, for we

are the careless talkers of the century, digging grass

angels with our lack of movement, watching a sunrise

and wishing for it to set, as we are set in resin.

The dew climbs and rests on our pale naked bodies

that we’re obsessed with tanning to the degree

that every leather sofa we pass, is jealous

and lounging around is our disrespectful game.

No longer are we baking today, we’re dining

tomorrow and the day after, without laughter

or intonation or pitch or birdsong climbing

the vapour trail ladders that descend from rescue jets.

No bread for grandmother today. It’s mouldy,

sour dough and coughing yeast, easing itself

into a shallow grave of atmosphere eaters,

no plastic containers or fridge preserves

as we are unreserved wasters, here, upon hilltop,

flocking like the wingless geese. We are

wise to the ways of addiction, plucking the fat

bread obsessed birds from the sky and making

pâté patios, for more beach loungers, so we can

fart and ignore our bed sores, argue about towels

and whose skin is getting thicker in the rising sun.

Our days as vampires have ended, blood is no longer

appropriate, it’s just a distraction, you don’t need

circulation if you’re not rising for anything

other than a waiter bringing a sandwich, and usually,

a goose will die above you, ready for rotisserie,

so here we are, waiting for our feed, while releasing

our geese so they can grow plump and pluck worthy.

Breadmouth’s economy plans are flawed; he likens them

to buoyant balls amidst an ocean of sinkers and stares

at the sun, saying that’s the biggest star we could catch

and yet, all I can offer to him is my lack of opinion.

I am dead for moving, junked up in over fed state,

eating flatbreads, wondering when I had forgotten

to put yeast in the mix, for these crumbs will attract

no foreign flyers or picnicking couples upon the hill top.

I may have to become vegetarian and eat the abundance

of green or a cannibal and over power Breadmouth,

devour his form, so full of bread and rising breaths.

Saliva is masquerading my mouth roof and tongue

eager for a taste of my dearest friend, who is now

honking for his flocking friends to return to his side,

basted with bread and yeast on a mattress of crumbs

browning well in the rising sun. I stand with a struggle,

hearing angels and devils applauding my momentum

as if this is momentous and the hills are witnessing

the death of descent, welcoming the limp body’s ascent,

timed perfect to the sink of the sun, unmotivated

by the light, daring the dark. I clamber, weak on the legs

who have forgotten emoted motion, stagger on what

could be pins propping up a boulder and I tumble

on to Breadmouth, who screams in surprise, ‘HONK!’

And I eat the goose away, the body of my friend,

cooked to perfection, tasting of everything but,

feeling nothing but hungry and lost. I ask the sky

whether or not I should be a cannibal and eat the rest

of the loungers and it doesn’t respond. I guess

that means ‘NO’ and instead, I lay on the grass again,

wishing I had not forgotten the yeast. The sun begins

its rise and it no longer welcomes me, for now

I am cold and brown, ready for migration. An allergic

reaction bristles my skin and feathers begin to puncture

underneath. Like a cocoon I am enveloped, waking

with wind in my bones, hearing the migrant call of

the geese set free. In me, there is a flight taking place,

of the rib cage parting ways with my heart, lifting

me upwards on a thermal current, that before felt

lackluster. I leave on the wings of the foreign flyers,

my brothers and sisters that rise to the sun, despite

knowing it will always descend. A trail of breadcrumbs

fall from my beak lips and I honk goodbye to the hillside,

certain that soon, someone else will be lying there,

wondering why they didn’t put yeast in their picnic bread.