Lights off and out

by Ruby Dunn


Afraid of you. Afraid for you. Unsure
What to do about either. This is the
Grey magic of wan humanity. Can
I pitch under the waves and soak in all
The wat’ry fill of your apologies?
I wish the words would tumble out of me
Like they do you. Instead, I’m silent by
The shore again, tongue-tied as thoughts that taste
Like smoke swirl and crash like frost-thawed bottles.
Complexity is beautiful, I said
Two days ago. I specifically
Never said it wasn’t venomous too:
Just the thing that makes this heap of broken
Pottery worth something now. Why don’t the
Trees weight heavy on your heart? Why’d you want
To perish in the arms of all this green?
Afraid for you, but afraid of you. What
A sordid and silly thing for me to
Cry about: I never said I wasn’t
Venomous too – just worth something. And I
Still don’t know what to do. I wish words would
Trip out of me like they tripped out of you.




Ruby Dunn is a history student in Scotland. Her degree, her faith and her natural surroundings prompt her to explore the world she is being welcomed into, both personally and poetically. Her work has been published by Trampset, the Soor Ploom Press and the Hyacinth Review, among others. As a writer she’s never quite sure if she’s emerging or retiring, but she’s usually just glad to be involved.