On the edge of a silvered lake
a heron poised like a telescope
caught fish for the slaughter.
The day was darkening overhead,
but the beer cans were still full,
so I lay underneath our coats and shivered.
In the morning I’d gulped orange juice
straight from the carton with sour breath,
my hand shaking with the effort,
now I snapped the ring-pull off a Karhu,
drank until I understood a foreign language,
pale bodies swimming in and out of focus.
When I looked to the disc of the lake
the heron’s crest was streaked with blood.
Rosie James holds both a BA and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. They have previously been published in Fresh Leaves (Vine Leaves Publishing, 2018).