The sky looked overcast
dark clouds moved
above me.

I knocked
on the door
to Hannah's
parents' flat.

Mrs Scot opened it up
and eyed me
whit dae ye want?
she said.

Is Hannah home?
I said.

Nae she's it
Mrs Scot replied
in her Scottish dialect.

When will
she be back?
I said.

When she's dain
wi' messages
she said.

Can I come in
and wait?
I said.

If ye main
she said gruffly
and stood back
to let me pass by
and into
the sitting room.

Sit thaur
an dornt tooch
she said
through thin lips
and walked off.

I sat in one
of the armchairs
to wait.

There was a photograph
on the mantelshelf
of a man in a kilt
and hat
and stern gaze.

I wondered
if he was Mrs Scot's father
he looked like her
without the beard.

After  five minutes
Hannah returned
with the shopping
and walked past the door
and smiled.

Won't be long
she said.

I could hear
Mrs Scot moan
and Hannah reply
but couldn't grasp
what they said.

Hannah came
and after a few words
with her mother
we left the flat
with her mother's words
echoing after us
like a seaman's cuss.

A BOY AND GIRL IN LONDON IN 1960

After school
I met Fay
on the bus.

She said a nun
at school
had talked
about the Mass.

She explained about it
but it was Dutch to me
but I didn't let on
as it seemed
to matter to her.

We got off the bus
and walked up
Meadow Row.

So Jesus is in
the bread and wine?
I said.

Yes under
the appearance
of bread and wine
it is called
a sacrificial meal
I think
Sister Bridget said
Fay explained.

She had lovely
blonde hair
and blue eyes
and she was
so near to me
I could sense her
being there.

Our hands were
nearly touching
just an inch
and they would touch.

We crossed
Rockingham Street
and walked up
the slope
to the Square.

I told her
about Eddie
getting the cane
for talking in assembly.

She seemed upset
about it.

We climbed
the concrete stairs
to the flats.

On the stairs
between
my parents' flat
and hers
we stopped
and kissed.

Lips to lips.

It was warm
and wet.

I didn't want
it to end
but we did.

She walked up
the stairs
and I went down.

I went into the flat
and said hello
to my mother.

I never said to Fay
that I love her.

A BOY A ND GIRL IN LONDON IN 1960
Sofia 4d

there is a certain kind of motherhood
only an older sister knows is true
to not have borne a son from womb
but to have a friend of same blood
be a son, a gift and a light too
there must be some divinity in this
to be the one he calls on when
the cupboard is kilimanjaro for this little stranger
who is on some days foe and most days love
to be the santamaria as he climbs
on your own young shoulder blades
searching for virgin shores in worn out rooms
to be stronger than the thunder
that rumbles outside his bedroom window
to be stronger than you usually are
for the little boy whose arms cling onto you for peace
even when you are as pale as the moonlight
he claims to have followed him into our home
there is some strange purpose in this
to be guardian, disciplinarian, caretaker and girl
all at once
when our mother is too drunk to hug her son
when our father says nothing but hello
there is a kind of love
only a sister knows hurts this much
when that little snip of a man grows into boyhood
just as he grew out of your arms
when you are no longer every wonder of the world
you are simply a companion
and on good days: a comrade
always a sister and mostly a friend
there is a strange pull of the heart
at the sight of boyhood in motion
to see him cry and laugh and hurt just as you once did
to bear witness to his ripe exploration of the cosmos
and you think to yourself: were you ever this young?
he looks at you with eyes that mirror your own
yes. yes you were
there is a certain kind of motherhood
only an older sister knows is true
it is the nostalgic repetition of summers that once
seemed to last forever
it is holding your brother tight
when he is brave icarus before the fall
even more so when the time for tragedy comes
and your young, young brother realizes
that he does not bleed ichor like the gods
he bleeds red very much like his sister
there is so much love in this

for my little brother
Amanda 4d

there is no way in hell that im going to tell you about how i'm in love

no way in hell that i'll tell you about that smile

hidden, private, just for me

his fingers, soft yet firm on the dimples of my back

combing through my hair

brushing my neck

there is no way I'll tell you about his silence

strong, assertive, present

or his eyes

deep, dark, daring

but I will tell you this

he is every empty spot in my heart

every broken rib in my chest

every smile on my lips

every line of words
you shared with me.

thrilled
but
eventually disappointed.

shallow promises,
left waiting in a room full of people.

happy faces
unaware of what i was anticipating.

it was a dull fun
pretending i was enjoying the night.
when really,
i wish you were there to accompany me.

drunk texts
occupied with  excuses and a false amusement

left wondering why i subject myself to this,
i leave your empty response unanswered
hoping you might notice.
in reality, i am just screaming  inside.

"i have no words for that boy."

There is something sweet about us.
How you never stop telling me I’m cute
And I won’t let you believe you’re stupid.
There are so many details of us
They have all blended into a rhythm.
It is the kind of rhythm you can dance to,
One two
One two,
Like a heartbeat.
Like your skipping heart beat,
Which has become my favorite song.
The tin foil around the chocolate I ate today
Said “get lost on purpose”
So I got lost in you.
And when I picture you
With a guitar in your lap,
I forgot that I am afraid
Of change
And loving too hard
And bears.
Somehow no part of me is afraid of you.
And so I hand you the light bulb of myself.
I let you into my museum
And I ask, “please touch”.
I leave all my best and worst qualities out on display
Knowing you might break them
I invite you to break them.
Because even if you leave me in pieces,
I will be better for knowing you,
And the drifting way your eyes fall shut
And the way you jiggle your leg during movies
And dance your fingers up my spine.
Nothing makes my light bulb quite as bright
As your wide smile.
And I, just a girl, didn’t know what beautiful meant
Until I heard my name on the tip of your tongue.
I have grown a lot since I wore a Dalmatian suit
And dreamed of dragons.
But something about you and me
Reminds me of magic.

JAC 6d

He looked at me,
The helpless boy in the mirror,
And said,
"You can't do this on your own."
Then his shoulders shook
Not hard enough for their burden to fall
And he in the mirror
Sobbed like a broken man
But he was just a helpless boy.

I no longer needed music to escape
my thoughts because I could recite
all of my favorite songs between
her thighs and she would
sing along.

-o.b.

Lately, my bones have been aching more than usual.
They call them growing pains and although I may not be physically
growing, I can still feel myself changing.
I remember when I was younger
and you used to be my best friend,
you were the super hero and I was your faithful sidekick.
But lately, the only attention I seem to get from you is just the
anger that was meant for my mother.
(That she never deserved.)
Maybe I remind you of her too much.
I remember once in the car you yelled at me.
You said, "Just shut up. You can never be wrong,
can you?
You're just like your bitch of a mother.:
You didn't know it, but I was crying.
And for whatever reason,
I still feel love for you.
You got in my face,
You yelled at me,
You almost hit me.
"Stay out of my fucking life."
I still love you though.
You drink so you don't have to feel and
that's one thing I've learned from you.
Thank you,
Dad.

-o.b.

and I still love you, even though you want nothing to do with me.
Elle Bogue May 9

There´s a man in my life
who with one glance
becomes commander of my will
and master of my thoughts.
My heart yearns his care,
my curves crave his hands.

However an endless void
rips trough my dream:

He doesn’t love me.

I go to him whenever he calls;
no matter the time, even when night falls.
After untangling sheets, we embrace into each other
staring into each other's eyes
until we drift into our own minds.

But he doesn't want me.

We wake up next to each other.
His smile is my warm morning sun
Yet when I manage to break his spell
and make my mind my own again
he can't wait to try to lure me back in.

Yet he says wants to be alone.

He calls and worries,
making sure I'm shielded from harm.
He couldn't stand if fatality struck,
and can't wait for me to be back
in the safety of his blessed arms;

But he wants to not care.

His eyes are yelling with his stare
that his soul is in line with mine,
that his thoughts belong to me.
When he holds me, he doesn’t let go.
With every kiss, we are nowhere and everywhere.
I am his and he is mine.

However, an endless void
rips trough my dream:

He doesn’t know he loves me.

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