Colony Girls – Tim Goldstone

Michelle with Mina in the bedroom,
colony girls, given new names,
their release papers pinned to the wall
from quarantine, a year
that had left them with a hatred of bright white,
but now alone magical and dancing
on Earth’s brandy and hash
moonlit through the paint-flaking wooden sash window
wrapped in sheets they’d dyed
the colour of damsons;
a bright green throw draped over the damp pliable sill;
rich thick blue-tinged smoke, low and heavy
undulates across the floorboards –
drifting towards candle-warmth,
synchronizing to muffled tunes from the bar piano
covered with glasses, three floors below.

The candles in the hollows of the thick bedroom walls
are spreading a buttery Rembrandt gleam
while outside the soft hiss of drizzle
patters across a city roofscape, dribbles down gutters,
trickles out onto narrow streets. Acclimatized now
to real oxygen (if not yet wind and open skies)
the musty journey up the gloomy winding
threadbare carpeted stairs no longer
leaves them out of breath.
A bang on their door –
“He wants one of you down in the bar,
he doesn’t care which one.”
He never cared which one –
those Mars-born girls
all looked the same,
were all good workers.

 

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TIM GOLDSTONE is published in print and online magazines and anthologies, including The New Welsh Review, Stand, Crannóg, Anti-Heroin Chic, Ellipsis, Altered States, The Speculative Book; and BBC and Waterstones websites. Prose sequence read at The Hay Festival. Travelled throughout Western and Eastern Europe and North Africa. Lives in Pembrokeshire. Twitter @muddygold

 

Image: vishnu vijayan via pixabay

 

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