Send The Jets In

by Aiden Clarkson

Someone was murdered nearby – a couple of streets away – we were drinking in the dining room – it was the night summer turned to autumn, really, although it was only August – late August – and this boy was stabbed in the neck – on St Stephen’s street, behind American pizza – the neck, so vulnerable, I touch my own neck thinking about it – at about midnight, and we were very drunk by then – playing cards around the pale shaker dining table – arguing back and forth about beheadings in the middle east, and whether or not we should send the jets in – and this lad was stabbed in the neck and died – a group of men, apparently, youngest 20, eldest 26, only a year younger than me, which is terrifying – or drones, we could send them in – we went outside to smoke in the little yard – the lad was only 19 himself, gone now – never coming back, this is my home-town I’m talking about, I live in Manchester now – and now back in Manchester – I wonder, at about midnight, did we feel it?

Aiden Clarkson lives in Manchester and studies and teaches at Keele University.

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