by Andrew McSorley, 3.24am 10th November 2021


A bald man on a red motorcycle threw a lasso around a star. He drove through the desert with the star trailing behind him like a child’s kite. He pulled on the rope until the star was so close he could touch it. It was the size of a beach ball, but so bright the bald man on a red motorcycle became blind as soon as he looked at it. He felt the edges of the star with his fingers. It was smooth like a succulent, with tiny spikes all around that pricked and tingled his hands. He put the star in his lap and started to drive. He was so excited he forgot that he couldn’t see and drove straight off the road deeper and deeper into the desert. When night came it was very cold. He laid down next to the star and tried to sleep. He couldn’t see it, but by now the star had dimmed. In the morning, it would be gone.


There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. She swallowed a fly, a spider, a cat, a dog, a cow, a horse, a seed, and it took root. The roots spread in her belly and gave branches to her ribcage. The branches grew feathered leaves, and feathered leaves grew dark red apples. The apples were rotten from birth and fell one by one to the pit of her stomach. There was an old lady who swallowed more than she was, and couldn’t go on, but still she did. At the market she pulled animals and ripened fruit from her mouth like a magician. The people at the market all laughed and said no thanks. She set the dog and cat on the ground and they ran through the crowded street, sniffing the air, hungry for the apple cores of their youth.


A squirrel came to sit with me and said “I just want to talk.” We laid down next to the calm bushes, rain nestling in new fields several miles away. The squirrel seemed nervous so I sang a song about learning a new dance. “Please stop, that’s not how we do things here” he said. He opened his mouth just a little and I could see crates of fresh blackberries. “Some other time, you’ll tell me why I’m here?” I asked. The squirrel wandered off, and I was lonely.