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Tom Bickell

The eyes
...and so I say to her "why do you like me?" and she says "you have soul and living life", and I think I get what she means, and I think back to Clapham and Golders Green and no one there ever told me I have soul and living life.

But isn't this what you always wanted? No ties, the total freedom, the liberty and autonomy to do as you please?

The Boat
By the river you could see a model sailing boat, motionless. Who did it belong to? You? It didnít look like it belonged to anybody. Maybe all parks and rivers had these boats for children to play with.

I am twenty-eight years old and nothing much has changed since the doctor hacked at the umbilical cord and told me, "here, here is your world."

I meandered my way along the deserted road, watching streetlights flicker off and on, off and on, from clear to amber to clear again, unsure, indecisive, not yet sure if the new day had begun.

I tried to call you but I didn't. I trawled along stairways, walkways, and the like, daft on rye whiskey and falling into everything...

Turning corners
Petra comes over and asks me if I'm ok, that I have been staring at the river a lot tonight, and I tell her I'm fine, just fascinated by reflections, by its colours and by its tones.

How To Fight Loneliness
The sun twists and pulls and makes shadows on the pavement. Dew sticks to the grass, hinting at purity, a purity long gone from this bitter soul

We had twenty-four boxes in all. One for each year of our lives. One day I joked to you that I wanted to collect one hundred boxes. I wasn't joking.

The Birthday
Where did all the time go? Buried again, this time under layers and layers of Christmas cake and birthday cards, Sundays and holidays, the days inbetween filled with turning sheets of metal into bicycle frames.

War is over
You can feel him tight in the sheets beside you, 4am, Christmas morning, and you bolt-upright, wide-awake as you always are on this one day out of three hundred and sixty five.

You can turn around, put your shoes back on, open the door with the same stealth that you showed when you first entered, crawl back down the stairs, and pretend none of this happened.

The See Word
You first caught my eye when you refused to move for the bullies. You stood on the corner, fists clenched through fear or exhilaration, and, when they asked you to get out of their way, you looked them square in the eye, and simply said "no."

Something Close To It
You smile at the memories, the good ones, caught in the light like the room that day, close your eyes, close your eyes, let them ooze into you, like bike rides to beaches and nights under canvas, daft on cheap vodka and no one can touch you, just you and

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