two hundred and seven words. 13

by kvennarad

at that time the girl’s pictures take her back to the moment she first became tidal, and she realises that since then she has inhabited herself, the way Eve inhabited Eden after knowing she was naked, the destruction of something truly native but the bed for a tough plant – say dandelion or thistle – that is presented as her real face; “I am beautiful, but I’m alien,” she declares, using one of two voices, as she stands in the walk-up to school, alone, jostled by others, greeted, ignored, feet slightly tilted within black, square-aproned shoes, a breeze stirring her skirt, an item in her rucksack hard against her shoulder blade refusing to identify itself, and – the ground is grey, the verge is green, the school presents itself as a set of squares against the milk-and-dust sky, the moving girls race to a single seashore or to a place where parallels meet – someone speaks her name, a simple act that recalls the legs and arms and bodies around her; the speaker has black hair, a face that could be rounder if use led to it, breath telling Polo mints, so they link arms and break the girl’s lack of motion, propel themselves into the general wave, head for shore


jupiter©Marie Marshall