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John Atkinson, Dumfries, Scotland

Poems on the Buses Exhibition


Soaked by a summer shower they ran from the last bus past the rows of caravans, a gas cylinder fixed on every one; she thought they looked like chubby blue bombs waiting to explode. He reached the door first, they laughed as he fumbled with unfamiliar keys. Inside: a cheese sandwich that never reached the beach, impressions of holidaymakers past, ghosted into upholstery, faint odours of butane and sunscreen. She lifted the lamp-glass, struck a match, a low pop as the fumes flared; watched as he took off his wet clothes, while a glow of gaslight hissed its ancient tale through the fragile lattice of the powder-white mantle.