Gwil James Thomas, The Fuse

The Fuse

I pull my yellowing copy
of Blood Meridian
from the shelf
as an old photo drops
from the back page —
a one-time bookmark
falling to my feet
like the last leaf
from an ageing tree.

In the photograph I see
my nineteen-year-old self
grinning back at me —
wearing a
Napalm Death
Scum T-shirt,
still in my work jeans
and boots from my
labouring job.

I’m holding a beer bottle
in one hand and pointing
a lit firework
out of the window
with the other.

I remember now that
my friend
had taken the photo,
she’d given me a copy
of it — found it funny —
as did I in my naivety.

But I’m older now —
more aware of risks,
of consequences and
I have to break the news
to the boy in the photo
that I’m wiser too —
knowing all too well
that it takes me that
extra second
to bend over,
light a fuse
and run for cover.

Gwil James Thomas is a writer originally from Bristol, England. His most recent chapbook was Hidden Icons & Secret Menus (Analog Submission Press). At present, he is editing his second novel and working on a split chapbook with the poet John D Robinson. He lives in Northern Spain.

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