STARLIGHT.

I see you, twinkle-twinkle.

What you choose to remember about yourself is the whirly assurance of the maneuvering steps you made on the cracked asphalt with annoyingly deep puddles. You were balancing a huge pram with your three-year olds who were either too bored or too cold and were bashing each other on the heads with your empty paper cup. Lots of coffee that morning. You ignored the screaming because your dog did a poo and your umbrella had just gone spikes up and you were multitasking with no grace but impressively full of gumption.


SLICE.

If you look down at us from the ceiling, or the roof, or the sky, we form a neat little circle and each of us is an inadequate contributor. If the circle were a cake it would likely be a dried-up sponge one, mouldy and with a foul aftertaste – the opposite of full-flavoured, juicy slices of dewy honey dough. Have one of us cut out and the image of the already imperfect geometric shape will become distorted but not in a way that would sufficiently count – none of us present feels substantial enough to casually ruin imaginary shapes – just slightly uneven.


FIRE.

First love, the only thing that lasts forever. You are unsure about the “forever” part and that is so brutal I wish I could rip out my dripping wet heart and throw it in your cruel face. I won’t accept your fake excuse of my being too young or some sh-t, I’m old enough to freaking love you. I am working on calculating forces of nature that will will you back into my arms. It requires science and field research. You are charmingly deluded in your assumptions that you can disappear by hiding. Luckily, this won’t get in our way, thank Google search.


GAME OF CARDS.

In the days of the endless war, she was most scared of losing her legs. She fought for freedom of her country, but also, selfishly?, for her own future, she fought on adrenaline gaslit by fear that nobody would have her without legs – and she had a beautiful pair of sturdy limbs, the type that had been considered most attractive pre-war, when food had been accessible. She couldn’t lose them, for she had dreams: children who would cry and laugh, a cat who would take the hottest spot in her ramshackle house, an abundance of porridge with jam on the 


END OF THE ROAD.

Do other people leave for nowhere? Do they want to? – Lucy thought. It felt nothing short of a life’s biggest mystery, not least because none of the couples in her and Rob’s circle had had broken marriages. That is not to say her friends never sounded discontent with the state of their affairs – piles of despair would pour out on Lucy’s ears (still hearing perfectly, thank you very much) during their regular gatherings – but those verbal dissatisfactions never evolve into any action. When everyone was younger, yes – dozens of years ago – but at her age,


A ROSE GARDEN.

The petals feel soft, I am on top of them, timidly adjusting my body and wishing this would dim the unwelcome stream of wistful, wakeful flashbacks. I can only alter my position ever so slightly each time I move and hope for peace and, with it, sleep. One rose, two rose, three rose… That’s better… I wish I could drown in this sweet-scented plot with busy bees, distinct shapes, gentle colours, non-gentle thorns, love, life, end of love, end of life… 


THE SHOP.

They have come in to the book shop as an obvious means to attempt yet another reconciliation, to “bond”, as Katie liked to call it. She was determined to brush off how choosing the store had become an unnecessary, frustrating ordeal as she and her mother, Lucy, can never, had never, will definitely never agree on anything. Katie found it ridiculous that her mother would voluntarily pick a spiritless, faceless, overcrowded, multiple-storied building over a cosy, dusty, badly-lit independent shop not far from their home. “Your shopping habits are as


A TABLE OF SILVER.

The details of my death are irrelevant, they weren’t as pretty as I’d hoped and I’m traumatised having died with that knowledge. LOVING this candles and fancy silver situation mother is carefully arranging on the table, it’s a little disturbing that she expects all to sit and eat around a coffin but I can take being a central figure, no problem. Who knew she had it in her: pulling herself together like that, laying out family’s best sliver with surgical precision – smaller knives further from the plate, larger knives closer to the plate. Boy, am I glad that there is still 


THE REUNION.

I am a human hour-glass – waiting… I hear the tide, the splashes of the waves, I hear their promise, sealed with each lick of my toes, that life will get better, that I will eventually run out of options except for the only one I have decided I do not want: the Mediterranean assures me I will move on. If it made sense to disagree with wild waters I would form a highly coherent argument that it’s a little too late, I, like the bottomless abundance of turquoise in front of me, am determined to keep going. People think that they are in charge of the world but I believe


THE LADY THAT FED THE BIRDS.

It felt like she had stood there for as long as time, always in her skewed beret, dull-coloured dresses and a cardigan that seemed to not have a preferred season but whose season should have ended, it was so worn-out he could make out holes in it. He wondered if she swayed towards the grey hues on purpose, if she thought, in grey he, or anyone else, would struggle to make her out in this mass of birdiness. Indeed, the only prominent colour belonged to her incongruently fancy heels. Sometimes he wondered what her eyes looked like but


FREEFALLING IN "CALL ME BY YOUR NAME".

There can be different types of freefalls, can't there? Freefall is hearing Beyonce’s Love on Top. Freefall is watching Celine Dion on stage, showing all of us, uneducated plebs, what FEELINGS look like. Freefall is dealing with a child’s tantrum (trust me on this one). Freefall is body first, guts second. It is when you can’t bear the intensity another moment, yet you wish to stretch this moment to infinity because intensity is suddenly nothing. Freefall is Andre Aciman’s “Call Me By Your Name” and you have not lived until you’ve heard it read out to you by 


BRIGHT LIGHT.

The label on the bottle kindly suggests: “2 per night”. That looks like a promise if I ever read one. I’m 6 down though and still, this stupid shard of light, pouring its entire existence into my eyes like scorching acid, is depriving me of the dreamy morning I haven’t had in weeks: one from the glossy pages, with my face photoshopped onto literally anyone’s, casually present in the kitchen, making liberal use of my well-rested limbs by pouring rainbows and fake happiness into a steamy mug of fresh coffee and plans for the day. The mug I’m holding in the


A MATTER OF STYLE.

I received my Art degree already in my thirties, during the dark, testing times of postnatal depression. Batshit insane and in an inescapable haze, I was still conscious enough to pat myself on the back with the long-awaited, now institution-qualified realisation that, finally, though free of actual talents, I’ll be able to “get” visual art. Almost 5 years on, nope, I can still stand lost and kind of nowhere, staring at a piece of work I can’t articulate anything about.


SINISTER DELIGHT.

The night. He.

I hear her laughing with a friend, probably revelling in her own jokes, for it sounds obvious she isn’t sober. Though tellingly above the limit, she doesn’t look bad: older, I think, tall, hazel eyes with their green more pronounced thanks to the left-over mascara smeared around them. I can picture her lips looking more inviting at the start of the night – still neatly coated in