From neon-lit cheap motels
you hear the plainsong of the highway –
the dogs and wolves of the hills,
a low hum of insects, the wails
and violins of the night;
shrieking axles of trucks turned south.

In those screams is whalesong,
the loneliness unbounded,
all your sons driving through the dark,
codfish, lobsters, crabs and clams,
a thousand eyes staring into chipped ice,
mouths frozen open, hungry for spindrift.

We eat at the little pine wood bar
near the sea, long fingering cliffs
clear and cold in the moonlight.
The sky is neat as a knife, crisp
as the ice travelling south.

Trimalchio the bartender – dark genius,
world hating, mustachioed freak –
flings at us bowls of peanuts,
pours that amber in our glass,
holds down a job nobody wants.

From the cliffs we watch the end of the world,
all Earth’s warm life gallops forth to crash
into the dark sea, rolls back into the void.

Satyajit Sarna is a writer and lawyer from New Delhi, India. His first novel, The Angel’s Share, was published in 2012 by HarperCollins. His poetry has earlier been published in the First Proof 2: New Writing from India by Penguin Books, and by the online journals The Literateur and The Sunflower Collective. He has also been published by the National Geographic Traveller, Platform and other magazines.

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