Christian Ward

Remembering a Bait Shop in Tenby, Wales

A murderer’s emporium: Freezers 
full of Sweeney Todd’s razors.
Vacuum-packed sprats to make alphas choke.
Fresh lugworms to fatten connoisseurs.

Who can forget the Venetian carnival 
of feathery lures? Glow in the dark 
fake squid? Sometimes I see them lighting 
my way as I stumble through countless corridors.

Lines are cast. Victims picked. Their guts
stuffed with unwilling gifts. Every eye
slipping back to milk-white, another judgment.
My legs spasm with their movements, collapsing from final gasps.

At night, I run a finger around my mouth to feel 
for the outline of hooks and rivulets of blood
more connected to the sea spray and sound
of birds bringing tomorrow on their wings. 

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Christian Ward is a UK-based writer who has recently appeared in The DewdropDodging the RainBlue UnicornThe Seventh QuarryBluepepperTipton Poetry JournalThe Amazine and Rye Whiskey Review. His first collection, Intermission, is out now on Amazon.