What We Leave

The Mourning After

The uninvited stands above me, staring over cross’d grey waters at the treacherous shoal. His weeping’s sadder than the lament of the coastal winds that tear at his cloak, and turn him into the streak of a smudge.

Every morning, unbidden he comes – a squatter on my tomb. Release me from his grief, heavier than the weight on my accursed soul.

Unseen beneath the shifting sands, let me marinate in my guilt.

Let me be.

Amongst Angels

Sleep, only sleep, my babe, Elspeth.

Outside his studio the glow of pollen and insects on wing now fragile six-sided angels; all things end.


Grimward Shankie rearranges his infant daughter then exposes the daguerreotype. When it’s all sealed, he searches under E on bookshelves that stretch into misty darkness like railway tracks at midnight.

Ah, there it is.

“Memento Mori.”

In the crib, his stillborn daughter bursts into smoking black lace, nothing more.