Tensile Time

Issue TenIssue Ten PoetryPoetry

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by David Atkinson

Her brother, she must see for herself, 

walking south, alone; 

choking, astringency, fetid grit of the street. 

Wordless embraces, slow dances of sadness.


Firemen, rescue workers avert their eyes

from photographs, clutched.

Respectful applause. The sun glints

on dust encrusted visors.


The severance of time across continents.

Purposeful but pointless, the passing of days

of twenty-four hours.

Phone calls; no news takes only seconds.

Four hundred and eighty sequential minutes 

through the hours of darkness.


The hospital report: On the sixth day 

he was observed on a park bench 

near the Hudson ferry terminal at dusk.

Eyes closed, face ash-covered,

streaks of what were once perspiration.

The blood from his ears was

its own narration.


Peering into her brother’s eyes: Mum will be so thrilled.

Her gaze returned: Tell me what I should remember 

about my mother.