WTC # 4 – well well well

Elements

In the beginning there was water – a  glass  of H2O fizzing  over ice,  the  call  for  time   in  a backstreet   bar  they’d  found,   and  as   they walked the towpath home, he told her  of the rivers, lost, forgotten, sluicing far beneath the city streets – Effra, Wandle, Tyburn, Fleet.  He told  her of  the pike’s sudden snapping in the dark,  of eels coiled and dozy in the sediment, still   dreaming   of   the  warm  Sargasso  Sea.

And  what  was  he –  a merman, a landlocked sailor    half-mad   with  whale song,  charmed by  sirens,     dowsing   for  the secret   birth of Ravensbourne   or   Hackney  Brook,    pouring over  sepia  maps  of   wells  and  springs   and silted   ponds.   But  she  was   rooted,   urban, coated  with  an  urban   skin,    and   had long forgotten any shared  dream of budding limbs floating  in  the  amniotic  dark.     Instead  she worked   her   earthbound   spells   of   T bone steaks  and  Merlot,  and  found the  elements do  not  mix,  but  churn  and  settle,   parallel, separate, distinct.

Jacqueline Smith

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