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July 2016, vol 12 no 2

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Jonathan McKeown

After All (the King’s Men)


And he … set up east of the garden of Eden
the cherubim and the flame of the whirling sword . . .
Genesis 3: 24

All ‘It was’ is a fragment …
– Nietzsche

She jumps up when we hear something smash on the kitchen tiles and rushes out to see what it was. A few moments later she returns. I watch her, reading her face, which is avoiding my gaze. She is trying to hold back tears but can’t and is quiet for some time composing herself. I can hear my stepson in the kitchen apologising repeatedly and berating himself for his clumsiness. It is not the first of our things to be broken since we all started living together. I lay aside the book I was reading her, lower my gaze to focus on her arm and begin stroking it tenderly. She goes to speak and stops. I know what she is trying to say but remain silent. She is trying to explain why she gets so upset and cries whenever something shatters: “Even if it is not something I care about,” she says, “I still cry.”

silica sparkles in stone cicadas

twelfth night
an LED star’s reflection
in a broken bauble


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