Katrina Naomi


for Marisa Foz del Barrio You divorced on the first day it was legal, were imprisoned three times as a Communist under Franco, still dyed your hair blonde and – at the age I am now – still lived with your parents’ bourgeois furniture (those impossible beds), the drapes and porcelain from another era, one

The Best View in England

that’s what she said. Of course, I begin to find fault: a shrub partly obscures the view, there’s a glint of car windows and, if I listen hard enough, I sense the thrum of traffic. I’ll admit the colours are strong, mid-summer: yellows of wheat-fields, oaky greens, and the hills’ hazed blue. A single cloud


She’s meant to be good with words, used to medicating others with a timely postcard — FABULOUS WOMAN YOU! Today she can’t find it in herself to buy, let alone send, A SISTER IS WORTH A THOUSAND FRIENDS. If only she knew the right phrase, the sort other people have stored in their mouths, like

Nan’s Advice After My Partner’s Breakdown

What did you know of love? You, who slept in a separate bed, separate room, who knew nothing of us. You told me to let him be, let him get on with it, let him alone. You gave me your harshest advice, told me what you’d done after Grandpa was discharged from the Navy; hiding