Small

They held each other because they were in love. a fox turned to a hare and a hare turned to a fox: bright eyes and giddy mouths, they grinned. Churned and warmer than air, they swam in water that tasted of browns and reds. The sky turned itself over and blinked across the small bay; the air was sticks, light, stones and the white bite of hot incisors from split thick clouds. They unfolded their soft bodies from the waves, wrapped in wet-warm fur and braced beneath the shattering canopy. The rain arrives a fist-full at a time; water runs in Fox’s legs eyes slurp with blurs of blues and browns. The wind hits like it was never absent; throttled in their throats backs winced with the crack of ripped tree bark. Their forest collapses around them. I heard these clouds from nine years away, curled in the kitchen cupboard like a sprat wrapped up beneath the waves; braced while you flung words like they might shout themselves new. You both liked thunderstorms, so the windows snarled their own tune and the clouds fingered the light switch. Your breath smelled like loose electrical sockets, a nimbus of hair hung from every door handle. I waited, soaked in the dark sounds from the room next door. I waited for the walls to move, and the ceiling to be ripped from the sky. Hands against my head, I waited for it to pass.

John Darley