Fish stream in wide-mouthed surprise, a silver procession wreathed in bubbles. She wonders why all surgeries have obligatory tanks amongst the glossy magazines, last year’s gossip and unrealistic home improvements. She tries to concentrate on celebrity kitchens and bedroom secrets, but the fish won’t let go, their flabby lips quivering for hooks that won’t come, each beaten breath surging their world into chaos. There is a touchscreen register, a box of tissues, a noticeboard checklist of ways to die. As her name is called, she feels the shock of water, abandons herself to the flurry of bubbles.
Oz Hardwick is a writer, photographer, music journalist, and occasional musician, based in York (UK). He has published six poetry collections, most recently The House of Ghosts and Mirrors (Valley Press, 2017), and has edited and co-edited several more, including (with Miles Salter) The Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry, which was a National Poetry Day recommendation in 2017. His website: http://ozhardwick.co.uk.