Outside.

I don’t suppose you’ll ever.

Ever know how it is to survive your own eyes. But that’s how it goes for everyone who meets you. From the first to last.

The first.

A north London house party in middle May, where, upon the stairs, consumed by talk of reds and blues - “the future is ours! Arise we must!” - I notice a you in a crimson Fair Isle. You.

A you who turns to face and me, my ears so green behind, so wide, so willing, can do nothing but fall into the depths of you.

Weeks after.

Clutching on tin cans we rode the buses and spun from street lamps. My lip on the down at the nape of your neck and everything else inside.

Come dusk.

We’d go to the pictures, or up we’d be singing old songs at yours and me, I’d gaze blindly onto those eyes, so full and frail. And everything cries from within. To me, without.

To last.

I fear, we didn’t. But, in my mind you’ll play, for emerald me still swims beneath. Consecutive sentences. Back to back. And all of this gush and dwell will flood me, just to hear your name, only the first, on a rainy Sunday by the Holloway Road. Then, as I climb the steps of the tilting 91, perching myself atop the deck - a donkey ride down Brighton Pier - I see our smitten selves, sat two rows in front.

Old ghosts.

Clinking cans and youth spilt on the sticky floor. I watch them in their headiness, sad to know the end.

And turning, I drift out the trembling window, as open as I ever was, but somehow, feeling.

Oddly renewed.

Written in response to “The Picture House” by Sam Rapley and published in the liner notes to Fabled’s 2018 album, “Short Stories”.

Matthew HerdComment