My face lurks in the shadows
at the edge of a phone screen,
amongst the bleached-out words
and scattered emoticons
that become a living vision
of everything I'll never have.
I still hear echoes of your breath
like listening to violence
through a brick wall, and
muscle-memories of your touch
remind me of walking barefoot
through a public toilet.
You debate which next best thing
you simply have to buy or not to buy
whilst shop assistants measure
your choice in hours of their time
and wonder what is must be like to
live somewhere not about to be torn down.
Like an addict trying to convince
himself that every time is the last,
I watch you smirk at a waitress
as her debts carve lines into her face
and she worries if her weekend dress
will make men want her for once.
But I keep on pretending and
wish that I could stop wishing
for a life that wasn't over
before it had even begun,
and content myself knowing
that somewhere something is burning.