A poem by ELEANOR COE.
i still sleep in your t-shirt —
(this is likely a mistake
but in this way, i can at least pretend that you are close to me.)
i lay on the left side of the bed
(so that there is always a space for you)
closest to the window,
and i close my eyes with my fingers
laced in something
that was once your hand —
and i see all the hypotheticals
and possibilities that this room
might have held (with you in it).
i see where your head would have rested,
where your hair might have scattered
not so far as mine across the pillow —
how your shoulder, white but not
as lean as mine, would roll in sleeping motions —
and how you would reluctantly wake
to my gnawing kisses and pokes and prodding paws,
to my kitten scratches and mews
when I grew tired and restless of waiting —
for your eyes to open
and rest finally upon me.
i place my eyes on the bedside table
where I might have put two cups of tea,
one for you and me, on those maybe dewy mornings.
and now I turn my pupils to Amelie
who sits and reads with me in bed
(in your stead) so that I am never quite alone —
and even in her fictional solitude
in the centre of her bed, she is dreaming of love
and a quietus of that deepest loneliness
that we share.
Artwork used: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – ‘In Bed’