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The Duel

by Alex Hubbard

Clint Eastwood smokes a sharpened H.B. pencil

and lays a plastic pistol on the lacquered table.

 

The horizon hangs a submerged orange glow burning

behind the terraced houses and their concrete drives.

 

Down the dusted road wanders a whistling figure

stroking his face’s un-haired skin.

 

They meet with the middle of the road between them

engine motors and Ennio Morricone humming behind them

 

there are twenty seconds till draw and two minutes till tea

but for now they stare, stilled

 

waiting to see which man will take the first shot.  

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He dreams she is Charybdis

by Alex Hubbard

We were part of that pack of sweating bodies 
drifting like steam up to the stars 
and you moved like water, filling everything 
until I found myself breathing you in  
as natural as air 
watching bubbles of breath burst 
on your shimmering skin. 
‘I am obsessed with drowning within you.’ 
When I offered this line up 
like a prayer 
you smiled over me, shook your head 
and blinked. The world went dark. 
When light pooled itself back in 
it was red and green and pulsing, 
sounds fell onto us like rain 
and you stood in front of me, a body 
still and singular. You placed a hand on my cheek,
slapped me hard 
‘you need to wake up,’ you said 
before disappearing into the crowd.

Alex Hubbard currently lives in West Wales, where is studying for his PhD in Creative Writing. Previously he has appeared in Bandit Fiction and Prole Magazine among others. Interested in the relationship between reader and writer, his work uses experimental narrative to explore space, place and identity.  

Twitter: @AlHubbzy

Images by Danielle Farrington, 2020.

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