should I say that the sound of your name on another's lips is the thinnest blade - ice, or spun sugar - gently penetrating some small secret casket, a neat trick, I am a magician's doll pierced by syllables, or should I say that your bone and muscle shaped through shirt, collar askew, make my sinews sing ecstatic despairing songs - should I say the shadow of your cheek makes my heart groan with desire or should I say, 'Hullo, been a while, Nice to see you,' and smile.
It wasn't that he didn't tend his plot. Each day he would sit in the office, letting insults sink into his skin with a smile; process data, the numbers reflected in his eyes. Each evening he would dig the bare ground, until ten. In summer the sun would bleed into dusk over his spade patiently turning the sod. In winter, the starlit street would be still except for, behind the dark hedge, the steady thunk and grind of earth twisted and replaced. No seed. No green shoot or delicate tendril. No fruit or wriggling worm to tempt the birds that watched in silence each rolled clod. No song. Just his foot pressing down, a ceaseless shovelling, in rain, snow, baking heat. Remorseless rhythm resonating, the driving in, the heave, the brace, turn at the fulcrum, release, wetly slice or shatter in dust, he knew the underflow below his blade, he felt its tug. He dug. Patient. Things buried deep by time's tide became flotsam, he dug. He dug. He dug. Small things would clink against the steel. He would bend, pick up a shard of white, a grey rag, something decayed but persisting faintly in his palm. At the office sometimes he would hold an oddment still smelling of earth. Smile. Squeeze it to shapeless clay. Stare at the screen. Wait patiently to dig again. Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen) Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family. Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as "functioning adequately ".