Urban Afterlife

After a funeral, paperwork sits
at the end of desk rows. 

Undertakers pause to change 
suits before shift handover,

diesel engines flatten down 
places of rest. Glass, iron, gravel.

Machines know: cities grow 
in negative spaces, oil traces gift

buildings with signs of the cross. 
Gliding hawks operate traffic 

for clear passage. Night drops
its guard. Machines argue.

Power cuts add imagination 
to people's lives. So much for

ending day's work seeking dawn. 


© Maria Stadnicka, 2021. Published in Shearsman 129 & 130, October 2021. 

Prototype 2020 out now

Prototype 2020, prose and poetry anthology published by Prototype Publishing, London, p.175, ISBN 978-1-913513-03-0.

Editor: Jess Chandler, Designer: Theo Inglis

The anthology includes work written with Rupert Loydell for the forthcoming collection The Geometric Kingdom.

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Writers: Astrid Alben, Caroline Bergvall, Linda Black, Lochlan Bloom, Iain Britton, Sam Buchan-Watts, Hisham Bustani, Theodoros Chiotis, Cathleen Allyn Conway, Emily Critchley, Claire Crowther, Susannah Dickey, Tim Dooley, Olivia Douglas, Michael Egan, Gareth Evans, Aisha Farr, Miruna Fulgeanu, Mark Goodwin, Philip Hancock, Oli Hazzard, Hoagy Houghton, Dominic Jaeckle, Aaron Kent, Caleb Klaces, Lotte L.S., Ali Lewis, Jazmine Linklater, Rupert Loydell, Alex MacDonald, Helen Marten, Mira Mattar, Otis Mensah, Lucy Mercer, Vanessa Onwuemezi, Sinae Park, Molly Ellen Pearson, Meryl Pugh, Elizabeth Reeder, Leonie Rushforth, Lavinia Singer, Maria Sledmere, Maria Stadnicka, Maia Tabet, Amanda Thomson, Donya Todd, David Turner, Lizzy Turner, Sarah Tweed, Anne Vegter, Ahren Warner, Oliver Zarandi.

Prototype 2020 is available from Prototype Publishing, London.