I could have died on this road alone
but for the fever of your touch.
You pull crusts off my naked loneliness
and lessen this wake I drag
behind me like a stillborn.
You name my doddering illness
that hides in a bucket of shame.
I’m sorry I forget how to think
about light, trapped
curious curled words
clasped in my trembling hands.
I hope you will love me
when I don’t die with longing,
I don’t even die for your lips
to press like wet poppies
onto my white waxen face.
In the end we carry nothing but stones
and skinned knees down to the river.
Bruised and broken we aren’t afraid.
We teeter onto one another’s empty stage
arms suspended like angels before the fall.
‘About Light’ by Jude Neale received a Special Mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2018) judged by Derek Adams.