by Stepahanie Christie

That high noise you heard
was coming from your mouth.
Get the kids within reach.

All the people having drunken first-time sex.
All the people who texted their mothers immediately.
All the people who had earlier spent
their last few dollars on cigarettes.

When the shaking stopped
you fell through your gate to join
so many unfamiliar bodies
wrapped in duvets walk like zombies
in the dark down a cracked street.

All those who’d been considering suicide.
All the bedrooms that had just been painted pink.
All the stories could only hope to get
a tiny bit of the full effect.
Words fail us.

I called you straight away.
I thought then if I lost you my heart would break.
Three seasons on we scarcely speak.

All the people waiting for a sign got something.

It was never any work.
Ours was friendship at first sight.
We set up camp and laughed into the night
and let the future worry about itself.

All the people whose cats ran off.
All those who’d gotten around to mowing the lawn.
All the relationships that ended.
All of the neighbours who finally met.

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