JENNY DANES – NORTH EAST
His body is like a boat, beached
on my sheet, spreading his heat
and driving me to the strip
of mattress that nods slowly to the floor.
This is my single bed, and this
was his idea. I haven’t even dozed,
and the strange absence, the sick,
empty hours of staring and shifting
start to turn my brain. I am not good
at not sleeping; I crank myself up
notches of tension and resentment –
Glaring at his big sleeping form, the way
his limbs jerk like a stab in the peace,
my scalded flinch each time, how he’ll
drift awake and whisper you alright?
His alarm goes off and I stay in bed,
half-watch him dress, teetering with socks
scooping up keys. He kisses me and leaves,
I listen for the double door bang, strain
until, sure none of my flatmates have stirred,
flip my duvet, then my pillow; they still bear
that stale, stained feel of someone else.
I roll over in the billow of draught, see he’s
crushed the tacked-up poetry on my wall.