'Lane Houses': A Poem by JD Sullivan


The morning after you left,

I slept curled into my arm,

and my shirt still smelled like you.

The smell has stuck around,

perhaps from the time I've spent in your apartment without you.

I wonder if you can feel my shadow in the gloomy naked lightbulbs,

cast across the living room from the doorway to the kitchen.

I wonder if you can hear the tapping of my rubber soled trainers

against concrete steps, moving up and down the back stairs.

Will you hear the neighbor's keys jingle in the vestibule,

think it's me with the spare set?

Will you sit on the floor leaning against the bed,

In the same spot I sat, and think you smell me?

A presence lingering like strong cologne,

or yesterday’s leftovers?

Perhaps you'll look out the window,

think you see me glide away on my white bicycle,

stark against the grayness of the Lane.

I never turn,

I prefer to picture you standing there, burning,

hoping I'll come back,

like I hoped you'd come back.

That morning I threw my arm across my face,

and inhaled.


JD Sullivan is an American currently living and working in Singapore. Her loves are teaching, writing, and a cat named Sean. She recently completed her Masters in Creative Writing with University of Edinburgh. Most recently JD's work has appeared in Nightingale & Sparrow.

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