by Christopher Arksey
Here’s to you my little mucus-mover, green-brown Black Jack, paper-packed sucking stone. My washed-up relic, breath of fresh patina, bit of grit with skin as rough as a trawlerman’s backhand. Not a whiff of wellbeing about you. Until your liquorice turns menthol; enough to flare the nostrils. Till you’re tongue-smoothed, suck-sharpened, lashed and brined and swallowed in the fish sauce of saliva. Till we meet again when my nose blows foghorn and my throat hawks phlegm. Note: Fisherman’s Friend is a brand of strong menthol lozenges originally developed in 1865 in Fleetwood, a small coastal town in northwest England, to give respiratory relief to deep-sea fishermen. According to the brand, the fishermen began to refer to the lozenges as “friends.” Black Jack is a brand of aniseed flavour sweets made in the UK. ____
Christopher Arksey is a writer and voice actor living in Hull, UK. His work is also published in Full House Literary Magazine, forthcoming in Sledgehammer Lit and Porridge Magazine, and he’s currently writing his first poetry pamphlet. You can find him on Twitter @chrisarksey.