Border Country by Fran Lock

In Between Hangovers

i walked a cold night through to thaw in seeking
out our shattered landmark. long before i saw i
smelled the mildew, ditches, burning rubber –
your own impoverished pheromone, love. i breathed
it in. i found a place to wash, watched over by old
men, slumped at their insolvent leisure. i watched
them, astute to dominoes, and full of bellyaching
acumen. they tot the score, and cheat with slurred
compunction. i breathe it in and go, out into the fly
tipped half-light; the rim of the world is glowing
like a muted television. i walk to the church, not
locked but hollowed out by wind, and dripping
like a limestone cave. it matters not, the village has
its envies and its petty worships still. narrow streets,
cottages encumbered by an unenticing quaintness.
dilapidated gingerbread, cobwebbed to gothic
nonplus. tourists will not come. or god, again.
women whisper like slow…

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