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Poet: Alex Rourke

do you remember last year in kirby lonsdale when I killed the engine and you said it was so quiet, so still it was like entering an anechoic chamber? and I mutely agreed only later searching for a description, which said that the longest someone had lasted in one of those soundless chambers was forty-five minutes, because at zero or minus decibels your body became the sound: your heart, your lungs, your breath, everything interior made exterior, the sound of simply being alive, unbearable, apparently, except out there with you, with the purple flurry of heather, the ripe smell of cow shit, sparrows haphazardly diving in and out of the lanes, I actually liked the sound of my own body spread out across this strange witnessless land, dissolving in every dump of bog cotton,  in every decibel of summer air, we seemed to be everywhere for a moment, our hearts pumping in astonished sequence, and I don’t remember who broke the silence, but it was almost frightening how much I liked not being myself



Alex Rourke lives by the sea in Brighton where they write short fiction and poetry. They were shortlisted for the 2023 Bridport Prize, and their story ’Skydive’ was recently published with Litro. They are currently in training to qualify as a psychotherapist at Goldsmiths University.

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