Dead Flag Blues

by Anton Rose

It was somewhere here, Coney Island
or maybe further up the coast,
a greying afternoon when we shared
the same dream.

The waters rose: slowly at first
with dulling rain
and forked lightning
out in the deep.

We passed a street preacher
soaked to his knees, holding
a piece of striped cloth,

There are things I remember:
clouds arranged like rumbling gods,
raindrops sliding off your face,
the smell of burning rubber

and the sound. The sound!
Like a low-flying antique bomber,
like a bass drum tied to the core of the world,
like a hole in the heavens decanting time.

We woke into darkness,
holding hands, you pointed out
a ship on the horizon,
slowly moving away.

Anton Rose lives in Durham, U.K., with his wife and their dog. He writes fiction and poetry, and his work has appeared in a number of print and online journals. Find him at or @antonjrose.

Photo by: Ana Prundaru