By Emma Buckley
I’m sitting next to you and you’re barely there, burning like a formless heatwave, air thick with all our so-far unexchanged spit, and the punctuation of my frequent exits: Kick-drum hyphenation of the bathroom door. The tick-tick-tick like an asterisk. Two pool cues, ellipsis, as the floorboards start sticking to my shoes like pollen on the legs of a honeybee. Your hands keep writing this story for me. A poem half-drafted with all your grand gestures, and I don’t think you realise that you talk like that, like I might find my poetry on the backs of your hands. I always said I wanted to worship something, even if it’s just the way your eyes look when you laugh. Altar of cheap cocktails in a pub with an arcade inside, like a bad punchline, like my predicted crise cardiaque. I’ll be clear about it: I didn’t think I wanted this. I’m a nervous wreck. I thought love was a party trick. Let’s shake the feeling like we’ve already done this, forget the familiar, start planning the exit. The point is that I read we have compatible signs, a nervous little research project of mine, between the daydreams I had about your back teeth, and I love you already. I don’t trust myself to speak. My mouth made up a rumour about your right cheek. Kick the table back and let’s see if it’s true, and make this one count so I can keep coming back to you.