Half Measure

I have been breathed out and you will go to some place else.

I will feel my spine straighten.

I have admitted you. Admitted our ties.
The way in which we slot together, and


Each other


I will paint over you and our walls.

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The First Fifth

– We drink two and a half bottles of wine, and tell stupid jokes all evening.

– We chink glasses and hold eye contact twenty seconds too long to be “just friends”

– I fade lipstick chain-smoking cigarettes, and tell my girlfriends everything tomorrow.

– You wear a shirt I find out later is your favourite, and call me a cab on the phone you ring me from in sixteen hours time.

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Babe. Baby. Darling. Sweetheart. You made me forget my name.

-You cooked me dinner, and helped my father build a shed at the bottom of the garden.

-You bought my mother flowers, and called her my sister.

-You gave me a drawer
to put my clothes in.

-You gave me a headache.

I’ve put you and our years into a shoebox, and cut small holes in the cardboard so you can breathe.

I sit down with you sometimes –
lay you out on the carpet to get a proper look at you, and how your hand curled my name onto envelopes.

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The Wall

We decided to paint the living room last summer. I picked up one of every paint chart card, like I do in Boots with perfume tester sticks.

A forehead kiss and a whisper that I had paint in my hair.
Staring at three tester squares

Every day

For six weeks

Until we found the time to tell eachother that we were wrong.

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Street View

We leave at last orders and rain sops like soup from the sky. The others head home, jackets up over heads.

We hang back, wet and wanting

I lose

By saying the first word.

In one hour we have made one hundred circles and nothing
is left.

I am walking away from you remembering the first time that we were strangers

You watched me
While I danced.

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Balance Beam

Once you get home, we talk about it. You breathe in deep and say you “just feel more together”.

-You’re going to tidy up after yourself.

-You’re going to organise your evenings and wake up


-You’re going

To tell me that I can, too.

The weight’s been lifted and I can see it in your shoulders

An equilibrium-us.

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Factor Fifteen

I’ve never worn stockings before, so I spend twenty minutes in our hotel room bathroom, fiddling with the fastenings.

When I come out, and you tell me that you love me, I tell you to say it again – in Spanish. 

We switch on the television and order room service we aren’t hungry for. You make a joke about answering the door naked.

You say it – in Spanish, and I feel the sunburn kicking in.

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