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POEM

 

Our eyes meet across a half-formed sentence. Your words bumble on, mine  

are snatched from the cradle of my mouth. Fingers furled around

dusty bottles, I down my drink to make room for your hand. I’m told time passed

but the only ticking I hear is at the base of your throat as you swallow the letter ‘m’, savouring it like a raspberry. My wrist flickers around a calloused map that I will learn

by heart. Nobody sees us leave but the moon. You name the stars and I tell you about birds you would be able to see if the sun were up. I drift off against your shoulder, lulled by the jolts of the bus down a road that is pothole-steady. We taste each other’s anxiety. We wake in the middle of dreams and cling to one another in bed-seas. We watch the sky change 

and now you know why my favourite colour is blue. My hand fits in yours without

needing to be asked and yet I still ask. We study the stains on the carpet like clouds.

You touch my skin in the cold and it burns. In daydreams I still hear the edge

of a whisper that sounds like you.

breakfast at midnight

Imogen Edwards-Lawrence studies Classics in Oxford, specializing in the study and translation of love elegy. Their own work has previously appeared in the Tiffin White Box Review.