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Image by Annie Spratt


with the martello journal

There Are Not Many Finer Things

by josh fortune

There are not many finer things to remark upon in life, than any thing that unexpectedly
makes you feel:

the surprise of fingers becoming intertwined with your own ones as you become led through
a crowd, and the confusing goodbye squeeze that ends the journey.

A random street where old ladies sit down on plastic white chairs,
going ninety in a language that you didn't need to understand,
selling you a spirit that makes your throat blaze
like a hearth that’s made of sour-cherry Haribos.

Taking time into a Summer’s day and thumping the head off it,                               (0)
__________until all that remains in the crusty grass are arse-marks
______________________________________and the sprawling blood of the sun.

Leaving somewhere with a conversation imprinted on you, echoing
throughout the caverns of your ears.

When you’re in the shops and a child becomes a crying flag,
with its hands securely glued to something,
and its parent is providing its legs with some wind to flap about in,
desperately trying to tear the little fucker away.

Getting home from school
when Winter would steal the Jaffa Cake-wrapper sunsets from you,
and your mum asking you what you wanted from the chipper
(garlic cheese chip fuckinggudtya).

Standing mashed beyond belief in the middle of a party,
watching your last drop of charm spill
into dispersed groups

of locked people cutting shapes,
as your friend fades away into an excuse for an exit.

Strutting down the whistling waterfront of the promenade with your
newly-purchased                 *
second-hand,                        *
carpet-smelling,                   *
old-tissues-in-the-pocket   *
jacket on, feeling like a real Billy Big-Bollix, as you’re about to go and mill some pints.

Touching your alabaster upper lip after a clean shave,
astonished at how much hair sticks to the sink.

When a dog comes up to you and selects you as the recipient of a thousand licks;
as the belly rubber; as the arse scratcher.

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