Spilt Coffee

Just any old Wednesday.
Misty with a moist heat that stifles my breath.
And here I am,
again
sliding around on sticky saffron tiles.
Soft round freckles smile:
“your usual muffin today, miss?”
But
before I can reply –
a bitter breeze
from the doorway turns my head.
Her.
As she always is.
With
that charcoal curtain across her face,
bony bare hands,
and no feet to stand on.
As she hovers, slightly
above stains,
I realise that
the muffins are decomposing,
the coffee bleeds
out,
and my past has returned.

#SoHappyToBeReunited

The heat on my face is glorious,
my cheeks pulsate.
The sun – it feels so close,
and I swear I can hear his heartbeat
on every inch of my skin.
I sigh, I squint,
a faint breeze dances around us.
I touch his hand and he leans onto my shoulder.
After 265 long days, our energies are meeting,
finally.
I can’t quite believe it.
I pinch myself,
relax into the chair.
I am,
we are, whole.
Here.
Now.
We are so happy to be reunited.

Wait…
I glance down, search my bag,
pull out my phone.
‘Smile.’
He smiles,
tap.
A photo to remember the moment.
We are so happy to be reunited.

But, wait…
I just need to take another,
I forgot the HDR settings.
We smile again,
tap.
Take a few more,
tap, tap, tap.
A few more,
tap, tap.
Scroll through the selection,
here we have a winner,
delete the rest,
tap, tap.
Just need to make a quick edit,
remove the red-eye.
Open in another app,
tap, add a white border,
tap, tap.
Size, 20%, tap.
Select final ratio, square,
tap. Close.
We are so happy to be reunited.

Ready to post,
But, wait…
Just a quick scroll.
He is about to get on a plane
and
they are sad about nanny Jane’s death
and
it is Terri’s birthday
and
he is eating eggs
and
there are half-price yoga mats
and
she has had her lips done
and
there are discounted holidays to Turkey
and
he is hungover…
Right. OK.
Ready to share,
Select the photo,
tap.
Pinch the sides,
tap.
It’s right now,
tap.
We are so happy to be reunited.

But, wait…
Which filter?
Lark?
Crema?
Aden?
Mayfair?
Amaro?
Hudson?
Sierra?
Or what about black and white, actually?
No, it doesn’t match everything else.
Lo-Fi.
Yes, Lo-Fi. Lo-Fi brings out the bright pink of my new jacket.
OK,
tap.
Edit brightness,
tap.
10%? 15%?
Too much,
tap. 10%.
Right, caption.
“We are sooo happy to be reunited!”

But, wait…
Emojis.
Beer, tap.
Love face, tap.
No, kiss face, tap.
Sunshine, tap.
Wait…
Hashtags.
Not too many,
no more than ten.
#reuinted
#love
#sunshine
#london
#girlswithredhair
#follow4follow
#l4l
#sohappytobereuinted

Done.
But, wait…
Add location,
tap.
Share to Facebook,
tap.
Share to Twitter,
tap.
Post,
tap.
Done.
We are so happy to be reunited.

But, wait,
Let me just just post this to my Story too.

And as I look down,
I tap
and the world turns
and I tap
and I don’t see the single bird
fly above our heads.
The one he notices
just as it’s about to go out of sight.
But it’s OK,
because
we are SO happy to be reunited.

 

Silence

When she heard it for the first time, it burnt.

Silence.

Soft silence. Light, delicate and warm, like the whisper of a familiar voice drifting in on long-awaited sunbeams. It was so quiet that tears rush to her eyes. She quickly wiped them away and shook her head. She was not that naïve. She had missed the sound of nothing but it could not yet be trusted. Squinting, she heaved her burnt body up off from floor, yelping as her fingers touched the stone. Everything seemed so cold now.

Most of her scars had healed except for one, a single pink line running from her lower lip down to her left nipple. It pulsated with the pain of a thousand punches, relentlessly emitting a thin river of blood, the only moisture her skin had felt in days.

The moment was short-lived. The sudden sound of a gun being shot sliced through the flow of silence and she ran towards the window.

Nothing.

Has she imagined it?

Another shot.

She had.

Was this it? Would her new existence be nothing more than one single moment replaying itself in her mind, over and over again?

She could consider such things later, now there was no time. She began to drag herself towards the glowing exit, trying to navigate the rubble along the way. All she could see beyond the doorway was sun, blinding the shape of anything else that lay outside. This walk towards the light seemed to take forever – is this what it felt like to die?

As fresh air and warmth hit her freckles for the first time in years, she heard it again, and the thud of a new heartbeat in her chest confirmed it. It was not the sun. They had finally come for her.

Four Seconds

This was his life now. Replaying those moments over and over again in his mind. It was nothing less than exhausting.

These re-runs had become a natural part of of his existence. Empty without them. He didn’t know how to function in a world free from it – the guilt that lingered through every part of his day, like a bad smell that wouldn’t come out in the wash.

They were there – when he brushed his teeth, when he waited for coffee to brew, when he stood on the platform fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. They were always there – when he lay awake at night, when he stood aimlessly on a rainy pavement, when he cried himself to sleep.

Those four seconds.

One, it emerged from the bushes quickly and immediately bolted into the middle of the road. Two, he had tugged the wheel to the left in an attempt to avoid it. Three, he hit her right side with such a force that she disappeared immediately under the van. Four, she was forever lost to a sea of grey tarmac.

Three Chapters

The beginning. Nothing. A vast sea of nothing, so overwhelming it cannot really be described. And then, just like that, there is something. This is – you. There is an empty case where your heart will grow. It starts to vibrate with a force, the force of everything and everyone that went before. Their energy is now yours. This is your body, your glow, your liquid, your home. This is where you are, now. This is your world and you can do anything with it.

Life follows. Your heart now drums. You find yourself in this bluey-green chamber, a space that is simultaneously empty and crowded. Day follows night and night follows day and you come to realise that this is how it is. This is where you are, now. Other specks of light come and go – they struggle to navigate but illuminate your spaces nonetheless. As time moves forward most of them fade to black. This chapter seems both the shortest and the longest. It can ache and relieve, burn and embrace, evaporate and be still, all at once.

We finish at the end, a most complex and unusual place. A place dictated by silence, a place in which the loudest of screams cannot be heard. There was something and then, just like that, there is nothing. Energies escape the body like worms that scurry around in the soil, searching for a new place to live. You no longer belong. That was – you. There is nothing. All that is left to do is drift.

Snow in the Springtime

To her, snow had a very distinctive sound. That afternoon, it made her turn to the window suddenly, just in time to see the first few flakes drop from the sky – so unusual this time of year.

‘Are you still listening?’ the voice behind her roared.

It was falling hard now. A smile washed over her face. She started to cry. The monotonous view of the city beneath her was awash with sparkling specs, like an ice cream being dusted with sprinkles.

‘So that’s it then, is it?’ he bellowed.

With not so much as a gaze in his direction, she retreated from the window silently, collected her box and walked into the lift for the very last time.

The blizzard would only last a few hours. The following day the buds would catch their breath. Never again in her life would she hear snow in the springtime.

This Is Not A Tattoo

This is not a tattoo.
This is a simple ritual in simple times.

These are
my marks, my spots
my moments that pass by.

I claim them as my own.

We are
moving – now, yes
but, grown from nothing.

We are
clusters of nothing, beating hearts
hard skulls
nothing more than points in time.

I shelter in my skin
I shelter in these rituals
where everything is said and unsaid.

These bits of ink
My
bits of life
overwhelm me, they are
greater than anything I will ever come to learn.

I look down,
grains of sand.

I look up,
temporary stars in the sky.

Here for a milli-second,
we are specks.