You shed your skin with sinful ease as time runs to keep up.
Ten weeks worth of smashed cots burn bonfire-bright in your belly
despite the December rain. You throw his letters to the wind now,
you wash your own hair now.
He’s sitting at the bar, sipping a Porn Star Martini, my usual drink of choice. Today, I’ve opted for a Strawberry Daiquiri, to give me a feminine vibe. If he was swigging a pint of beer, I’d know he was straight. The cocktail offers just enough doubt that I stay in my seat to do my detective work. My table is near the door and I’ve pushed my chair far enough back that the spotlight above me illuminates my knees onwards. If we were on the beach, I’d wear sunglasses, but here I’m taking advantage of the darkness to provide cover. His dark brown hair is lightly gelled into a quiff reminiscent of a 2000’s pop star and he swirls his glass for some time before each sip. He’s wearing a Ted Baker charcoal blazer with matching straight leg trousers and burgundy boat shoes. He must work in the City, probably at a hipster marketing firm where no one wears socks.
to relish in the terror of my death
as I plunge into the concrete
ocean of broken dreams.
Six am struck and Joan opened her eyes, bracing the sense of despair that had been clouding over her for weeks; weeks that had at some point turned into months. As she pulled back the duvet, those months of sweat, tears, and the occasional (daily) bottle of white wine that had ingrained onto her sister’s pale pink pyjamas fumigated the room. Joan stumbled out of bed, her head beating its constant pounding rhythm that told her you lived, you lived, you lived.
Holly Hopkins is an award winning poet, having won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition for her debut collection, Soon Every House will have One, as well as the Eric Gregory Award, and the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice amongst others.
‘Tell me what you want me to do?!’ He screamed, holding his head. ‘I can’t read your mind Clara.’ My lips, dry, cracked. Thirsty. They want to tell him. But they don’t know what to say. My tongue, hides in the comfort of my mouth. It’s scared it will say the wrong things. Tangle and twist the truth. Spread its venom like a snake. For its vicious bite will be the end of this. This. Fragile, fucked up shit show we are still calling a marriage.
The train took me alone down south to meet you. You were already there at the station as I stepped onto the platform, and it was almost—but not quite—like I never left. All the force as you hugged me, so I nearly overbalanced with the weight from my backpack, but you anchored my feet to the ground and I knew I was safe.
i thought my biggest fear was drowning.
the everlasting pull, the silent scream,
the grabbing onto nothingness in hope that
i can be rescued.