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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Renée Owen

Below Deck

Tightly wound coils of nappy black hair surround her small head, high forehead, creases between deep brown eyes. Eyes trained to look away in this foreign floating world, scrawny bruised ankles, child-sized wrists shackled, dark rust & clang of metal like scars against taut skin. Eyes downcast, amidst waste lapping the ship's hull. Or eyes wide open, looking right at you but through you, drifting, a cloud or a ghost leaving its body on the plank deck. Eyes that travel back in time, remembering when they were satiated on freedom.

below deck
bodies upon bodies
an ache for light