A Checklist of Basic Divinity

God or human? It’s a fine distinction, like a flip of a coin, or a local radio
phone-in with regulars calling just to change the subject. There’s always
something about Brexit or parking charges, and the kids who don’t even have
off licences to skulk outside of anymore – and did you know that skulk is the
collective noun for foxes? And then we’re back to the pungent tracks through
cuts and gardens, the folktale manifest in red fur and yellow teeth, assaying
garbage, barking on star-scattered lawns. And the question goes unanswered:
god or human? The Moon is a coin balanced perfectly on edge, the radio plays
repeats of classic weather forecasts, and the city nuzzles into sleep, hot fur
prickling against its naked flesh, hot breath damp on its ear.

 

Oz Hardwick is a York-based writer, photographer and occasional musician, whose work has been published and performed internationally. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently The Lithium Codex (Hedgehog, 2019), and has edited and co-edited several more. Oz leads the Creative Writing programmes at Leeds Trinity University. www.ozhardwick.co.uk