Off Island

It started with a childhood pride for writers who share my name, we got Shakespeare afterall, and Blake, and then Golding crashed an aeroplane and left a wound in my innocence, a burning trail half-a-mile wide through the jungle of my mind – that plane that went down in my youth, that plane that disappeared from the radar without notice, and went down in my youth.

It told me to do what I can. It said never trust your fellow man. It said dig in and prepare to run. It said “I’d expect more from English boys.” Well expect away, we’re nought but animals, all of us, just, some in denial. But that aeroplane tore from the sky and left a scar that two-and-a-half decades later leads to me and leads me too, a leash on this beast, a submissive streak half-a-mile wide. 

And on that island she stepped, all white gloves and expecting respect. She found the scar, the blackened ground and splintered stumps between which bluebells had begun to grow. She walked the trail, at once boots and heels, from my brain, my throat, my heart and gut and cock. She stroked the twisted wreckage and stoked that beast again, she took handfuls of hair and had her words bite my ear – “whatever it takes to get you off.”

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