Adam Smith is in the first year of his Creative Writing and English degree.

(After Sophie Hannah's 'Occupational Hazard')


As an adder through forest leaves,

slithering past sweaty girls and sticky boys

to a mouse at the bar, specs on nose and

Browning in hand – he understands.

Just about. Precise as venom

he chokes the silence and seizes her gaze.

Fangs bared, burping out Blake:

that GSCE comes in handy again.

On a lager-soaked napkin, she signs away a night.

In delight, he stumbles away.


Later he reads:

Sylvia Plath,

14 Shakespeare Road,