The Light Eater


Two weeks after the first day

at school, I hadn’t spoken –

didn’t know how to talk to girls.

Did I pick her? The one that was

most like a boy – lean, athletic,

cropped hair. I remember

the swagger and laugh of a film star,

twitchy mouth – more talk

than the teachers preferred.

That first image and this one;

her on our three-seater, standing –

my brothers shining a torch

on the wall behind the sofa –

her jumping to catch the light-beam –

a silhouette on a stage set.

The codec in the curve of lip, arc of wrist

snap of neck to the next spot,

a splay of fingers on leatherette.

First published in "The Alchemy Spoon - The Body Issue", Aug 2021