Glimpses of you
from a bus window
an imagined brush of
limbs, makes my soul
jump. Listen for you
in every conversation
and pretend to be
your nearest relation
click on photographs
of each tagged smile
want to trace dots
of summer freckles
loathe anyone with
their arm around you
dream of a pillow dent
on the left-hand side
of the bed. Bring you
tea on Sunday morning
plan the shared places
we’ve not yet been to
thaw your feet and lock
our heart into my skin.
You reached into my throat and wrung my heart
until it felt impossible to breathe.
You went. It seemed unthinkable to start
again – to get my world to spin. Our death
was slow to come; each memory replayed –
the way my life shrank in your mansion of
deceit. It left a tarnished taste. Each day
lived like a shoal trapped in a net. Your love
was shallow deep. No thought to reconcile
us, even as I begged you not to leave.
I heard you’d walked another up the aisle
and realised there was nothing left to grieve.
The sentence fit the plea of self-defence.
Exhibit A was smeared with my revenge.
Emma Halliday lives in Lancashire and is studying for a postgraduate diploma in creative writing at York University. Her first published short story was in FlyBe’s inflight magazine and she likes to imagine the passengers reading this at several thousand feet with their G&T. She subsequently was the winner of the Guardian’s travel writing competition (UK category) and has been shortlisted for, or won, regional fiction and poetry competitions. As a relatively new creative writer, she is now navigating the bewildering but wonderful world of literary journals.