A young man is shot for nothing. Wrong person, place, time. Walking down Askew Road is to take your life in your hands if you look anything like someone who might’ve been the intended victim, or even, as it may be, if you don’t.
A young man called Alex is shot for nothing and his body lies in the gutter for half a day, while people in blue suits comb the street for anything telling, gathering whatever that might be into bags and piling them in a tent.
A young black man is shot for nothing, the main road is closed for two days, and Sainsbury’s staff stare from the window as the police do their part from their cars, disseminating little – Yes, it’s a body. No, I can’t tell you how it got there.
A young man is shot for nothing. A burnt out Range Rover is found nearby. Information is sought from the public. Without answers, a mother will bury her son. No one wants to see the flowers, or candles guttering in patchy rain.
Biography: Kate Noakes is a PhD student at the University of Reading researching contemporary British and American poetry. Her most recent collection is The FIlthy Quiet (Parthian, 2019). Her first non-fiction title, Real Hay-on-Wye, is forthcoming from Seren in 2022 and her next poetry collection is Goldhawk Road from Two Rivers Press in 2023. She lives in London.