Bound in Smoke

Blackened branches, white with ash at the ends, dumped on the patio when we were done prodding. Embers gagging on the lack of oxygen after hours of burning in our makeshift back garden barbecue: an oversized tin can so charred we could only remember it was once for olives. Flaky ash lying on the window sill and the seats we had made on stacked breeze blocks and an empty blue plastic milk bottle crate. Debris so integral to our garden life we'd forgotten any urge we had, on moving in, to buy real outdoor furniture. Leaning in against the back door in the light from the kitchen, my spiral bound notepad, biro tucked through the wire. “Alright?” His eyes were blazing clear. The things we had written. Words and thoughts scorched and bound in the smoke. “Yeah. You?” “Yeah.” We meant it, no need to say more.
Claire T Allen
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