Age of Innocence

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I dreamt of an age of innocence, of a time before the decay in my heart had yet to flower, yet when I awoke the dream was gone, and the taste of innocence was no more. What was left was an aching sense of being ill at ease in a body that’s as unfamiliar to me as my own mind. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. It grew like a tumour, filling me up until the air in my lungs was barely enough to sustain me. The first cigarette brought mild relief, but there was no escaping the persistence of loss that followed me around like a piece of gum stuck to the heel of my shoe. Afternoon made way for evening—a packet of Monster Munch and Friday the 13th Part 8. With any luck, a lock of hair pinched tight between thumb and forefinger—perhaps something more. Hum a song and come along, this is what I spoke into the telephone, but it wasn’t enough to bring her home. Pausing the movie, I dropped a turd I’d been cooking for the best part of three days. I lit another cigarette and blew the smoke through the open window until my lungs collapsed as if they were made of broken flowers weighed down by a sudden April shower. Drinking to sleep and then drinking to fuck followed by drinking to exist. Like a butterfly in a jar, I flickered in and out. The here and there; a dream not a dream of which can only be seen when clear out of sight. A flick of the bean and a neon skyline made of crystal teeth; such mysteries will surely be the death of me.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

8 replies »

  1. “The first cigarette brought mild relief, but there was no escaping the persistence of loss that followed me around like a piece of gum stuck to the heel of my shoe.”

    This totally touched my stupid heart. The whole thing did, Stephen. But the persistence of loss is the hardest thing to bear. X

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