public transporttoday, i feel like saying, "dear x,i went up an escalator today andi missed you." i want to say,"i missed you on the tube, andbeneath the bridge, in all thosecold, damp places that somehow,we made belong to us."
traces.i.it occurs to me on a coach,in the early hours of the morning,that i've forgotten your hands.i've left them, curled around a mugon a stained kitchen worktop,pinkie comically raised.you always said that mannerswere your fatal flaw.ii.it occurs to me too,that i've forgotten your smile.or at least the teeth in it.i distinctly remember one rollingbetween the carpet and the wall,and another, i threw into the toilet.i find myself caculating calcium density,and wondering:do teeth float?iii.we've just reached switzerland,when mountains remind me:there is blood in my freezer.iv.there are traces of you everywhere.no longer beneath my fingernails, or caughtbetween my teeth, but insteadimprinted on my retinas, and hiddenin the crevices of a night-time mind.
it feels like winter.i can, i can tryto replace you with sugary tea,but you were never that sweetand couldn't blister my palm.and besides, you preferred to havea lemon slice and a kiss with your earl greyand i've run out of both.i can abandon rational thoughtand capital lettersbut i can't, i can't stop thinkingin drawn-out vowels.but it's okay, it's okay.i walked down a hill this morningand didn't think of you once.
The Late TrainThere's nothing that can be compared to this: the first shy nose-brushings and the stutterings, the slow hum of the train beneath you. You could kiss him your lips are brushing his cheek but his hands are clutching yours so tightly that he cant bring himself to let go. The stops blur into each other and he hasnt explained, he hasnt said a word, but it doesnt matter, it doesnt matter at all. The words youve left unsaid cant compare to his offer to walk you back home because he knows that you fear faceless monsters sliding out of the dustbins or how he tangles his hands in your hair like he's trying to find something to ground himself, or how he holds his hand palm-up and waits, as if he's too scared to clasp your fingers, as if he's afraid he might break you.Youre always finding excuses to go on long train journeys at ridiculous times, so that you can have the entire carriage to yourselves and just be, eating sandwich
I don't believe in 'always'"you flinched," he says, a spacewhere lips had been before.no longer touching, we remainsilent.
because friendships fade.Since I can't describe you, I'll describe what you aren't.You don't have a beard, but you aren't clean shaven. You don't have blue eyes, nor are they a warm brown. That would be far too poetic, and you aren't poetic. You're not musical, but you knew me well enough to realise that words are not always my strong point.Last summer, you asked me to write you a song, but I started writing your symphony instead. It's winter now, and I wish it wasn't about you. Every time I listen, I can hear your melody - an underlying beat, inescapably you. I tried cutting every bar you were in, but all I was left with was a handful of countermelodies and no tune. Even in those you remained, stubbornly - an afterthought.In August I left it ending on a diminished chord, the notes rising toward something I didn't have the heart to write. Maybe it was hope; perhaps acceptance. It may have even been fear - fear of writing those final chords and feeling my fingers let go of the lingerings of friendship I've b