She was always the one who was different.
Her lazy eye cast a roving shadow,
Fell at oblique angles into the netherworld
Where sin and desire might mingle.
The line-up was a simple job.
She stood no chance against the other eight.
Familiar number. Familiar fate.
After the burning the death pall
Hangs heavy over hovels, chokes air.
Reek of wood and rope lingers for days.
Charred splinters circle-blown by wind.
Anyone could have picked her out.
Anyone at all would have noticed her.
Accusers only needed eyes to speak.
These words return to him.
He feels their physical touch in blackened watches.
He yearns for cigars. He yearns for scotches.
I have never seen stars so black and cold.
Music from the future time-loops in my head.
A goddess without answers blows out the moon.
Gates open. A train stops in a fierce wind.
Andrew Nowell studied English literature at University College London where he completed an MA in Shakespeare and the Renaissance. Now a journalist working for a local newspaper, he is also looking to break into creative writing and poetry. He lives in Wigan.