By Sunk Island's image
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We cut the engine


and drop anchor by Sunk Island.


We lie across the centre thwart


to inspect our bowl of sky.


A shoal of Perch


gently bumps our boat.



 


Above us, starlight is occluded


by a single shifting cloud.


I attempt to read ellipses,


but they’re of unequal length,


and in a code I cannot decipher.


 


You tell me the cosmos is not silent,


and I ask you what it’s saying?


Only coffin ships will reach us.


Grim, I say, gazing into the night’s gulf.


 


Stars blink their sequence –


the constellations are another puzzle.


You point at the night,


accuse one bright bulb of being Saturn,


ask if I would like to hear its song.


 


On your ‘phone we hear


a choir of countless souls


hum a fluctuating dead note,


a keening carried here on astral winds –


an air for Armageddon.


 


The song raises a curlew


from its nest – whose ancient call


is a solemn riposte.


We lie then, in crumpled silence,


as the star-struck lake sways beneath our boat.

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