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Issue 6





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.

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