Sitting across from me.
I watch as you catch a wisp of hair
just before it hits the table and twist it
cautiously about your fingertips.
The air grows hard and stale between us
as I tap out time into the foam-smeared rim
of my mug. My eyes track your movements
as you reach one hand up to
trace the edge of your collarbone anxiously,
brush a speck of dirt from your cheek
and readjust your sleeve
before clasping it back with the other.
I remember the first time our hands
struck together like that:
the electricity of skin sparking against skin,
the crackle and whip of the air between
our fingertips. I swear, something was
born that day. I wanted to tell you
about the times I had curled my palm,
pre-empting the encircling of yours
around it. I wanted to lay out every
folded scrap of self I kept crumpled
between my heart
and my throat. I wanted to produce
something with you, something to
marvel at, something we could exhibit
in a gallery, in a lab, within the pages
of a book. I wanted to pour every inch
of myself into your hands and watch you
twist me into shapes around your fingertips.
I wanted to tell you everything before
I even knew it myself.
Maybe that is why now,
we have nothing to say.
About the Author
Ellen Waters is a UK student studying English at the University of York. She was a winner of the Anna C. Price Poetry Prize and has been published in The JFA Human Rights Journal, SINK Magazine: Ramble and Viral Verses: Art in Exceptional Times. She enjoys reading and drama, and plays the violin.