You Are Here

You are here, at the cusp of adulthood, the key is in your hand for 21C Autumn Lodge.
He is there, teetering on the edge of maturity in an adult body, a coffee in hand, a dog by his side and the world on his tongue.
For the love category of the Christmas Competition 2017


14. When you had your eyes half shut


When you had your eyes half shut

You didn’t realise that you needed him.


The nightmare still pranced across your eyes,

A hand coming to slap,

Anger in eyes

And you lurch awake for the thousandth time

That night,

The anger not being able to

Leave your bones at rest.


Your feet are cold,

As well as your heart,

As you walk around the apartment

Trying to shake off the nightmares



“But that never works.”


Instead you steal yourself for the long shot

And unlock the door of your apartment.

You lock it again

With a flick and a swish

Because you know you will try to go back

If it isn't.


Then you find his.

The door unfamiliar to you yet

And your knuckles shake

As they come to meet wood.


No answer.


You knock again,

Head thunking against wood

In desperation.


No answer.

He’s asleep.



The horses still parade around your brain box.



A click

A footstep

And you steal yourself for the hope.


He appears,

With cowlicked hair

And scrunched lips.


He says your name

Between a yawn and a breath.



You say because your lungs can breathe anything else out.


He nods

And hugs you before letting you in,

The warmth of his arms

Chasing creatures away

From the backs of your eyes.


Apollo comes bounding up

And licks you

And you find yourself on the sofa

Of a modest lounge.

The beast is a vibrating

Water bottle

Near the backs of your legs

ears pricking

If the sounds of anger and a slap comes

Anywhere near you again.


He is the soldier at your other side,

A film is put on the TV as background noise

And his fragrant smile is all you need

For your nose to smell comfort

for the first time

that long winter.


An arm is beside you,

Home is all you know

And sleep becomes you

As the horses

Gallop away

To some other beach

On some other night. 


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