Lauren Strain


Warmed bones/sticky face/dinner time
Soft bread, salted gristle, limp lettuce
Children chatter, louder than gulls/missing mother, therebutnotthere
Girl with grey eyes, anemone hair, webbed toes
Her greasy palms/her mother’s dress/leaves her mark
Totters over burning grit/water’s edge/open my mouth/she dives




Imagine ships.
Imagine journeys, arrivals,
multi-coloured roofs and heavy air,
the pale ribbon of coastline.
Trees stand sentry on the shore,
Branches like blackened bones.

Imagine his newly cool skin.
Grey sea becomes green cloud – cicadas buzz till showers burst.

Beside the shadowy pools and crags
Rain bleeds into sand.

Imagine the huge repeating pines,
The still lake, the eels. Your grandmother’s gold necklace curled over her collarbone,
Coffee in a ceramic cup.
Rain at his window – your window – a cymbal crash from the kitchen echoed by the sky.

Imagine the postcards home, washed ashore like fragment shells.
Each line is a tide mark, splitting the distance.



By Lauren Strain

(London, UK) is from Auckland, NZ. She likes seconds.