London, June 2016

i saw a fox walking towards me in the darkness.

it stalked up the street, we shared a footpath.

headlights swept sparkles across wet concrete

i reached for my phone, knowing i didn’t need an Instagram picture to prove anything

the fox froze, and disappeared through a fence into the night.

*

on the tube, a boy sat down with his young mum.

she sat hunched over him, spoke in whispers, and when she smiled it was quick, forced because he waited for it each time he said something to her

the boy chatted and rummaged through the shopping for a snack

he didn’t know or care about the unspoken tube-oath of silence

he stuffed his face with chocolate popcorn, grinning at the couple beside me with rainbows painted on their faces

ssh, his mum said

he pushed more popcorn into his mouth, then painted arches in the air with his hands

in the reflection, the rainbow-faced boyfriend smiled back

the boy’s mum shuffled in her seat. fixed the boy’s hair, pulled him closer. pressed a kiss into his head.

‘mummy,’ the boy said loudly. ‘do you know chocolate is my favourite of all the fruits? but actually you are in front of any foods is how much i love you. even more than chocolate.”

*

this city is laced with memories of the most unsure years of my life.

the triggers are everywhere –

this was when

here was where

i want to reach through time and hug myself

tell that girl,

you did the best you could.

everything is going to be ok.

20160625_182707

 

Characters

I’ve had these characters floating around my head for more than a year

At first it was like looking at them through frosted glass, but as each day goes by the glass gets clearer, and soon it will thin and become nothing at all

*

I’ll be able to reach out and touch them;

sit beside them and feel our shared bench shift under their weight;

ask them questions and see the truth of their answers in their eyes, rather than only hearing the words themselves

*

Soon, I’ll know them – as well as anyone can ever know another

As well as anyone can ever know themselves

(they are, after all, a part of me)

And I won’t have to say, ‘Tell me your story.’

Because it will already be written.

Moving

sunset-1024x612

The view from the front door of our first home.

the view is different

where once it was all driveway

and wall and fence

and sky

it is now the corrugated iron fence

of a shed

the neighbours’ houses

taller than ours

an awning

and a little sky

*

surrounded by boxes

i feel, perhaps, we have

too many things

my bones still ache

from moving

my heart is heavy

too

i’ve been sleeping so deeply

meanwhile, the idea lingers:

how nice it would be

to live

out of a suitcase

again

*

it’s not just stuff, you know

it’s not just the view

and it’s not that i don’t see

the superficiality

of material goods

but when we moved

a part of us

was left there

*

no matter how much you gain

in the future

you can neverĀ get that back.