27 October, 2014Issue 26.2Creative WritingOriginal Poetry

Email This Article Print This Article

The Last Tape

Alex Niven

The Last Tape


Crowds streamed along the path to the industrial estate.
There were rumours of spring, of oxygen.

We arrived at the waste disposal unit. A cargo of goods spilled
out of a storage container tied to a lorry.

Linoleum rolls, laptops, rabbit cages. Everything had rotted to mush.
A white polyester football shirt lay in the sun sighing with mould.

The crowd formed a circle. You came to me carrying an armful of rubbish.
The sun splashed ribbons of light over your beautiful hair.

After hours of waiting a cassette tape fell from the pile.
We shivered.

I kissed your mud-covered hands, and the music on the tape
spread and echoed through the crowd like holy thunder.


Alex Niven is assistant editor at New Left Review. His first poetry collection, The Last Tape, will be published by Zero Books on 31 October 2014.