Poem for Alice

When I was broken hearted I turned up
to your house one evening
with my eyes wide like a ghost.
Come, you said.
I’ve been pouring for you.
And you helped me peel off my clothes down to my underwear

so I could sit in your bath.
And then you climbed in too.
In between us was a platter balancing
on a piece of rimu and you reached
over and opened the window so you could
smoke out of it
while I sat with my knees drawn up
to my chest, unravelling what I hated most about
what I was feeling

while my life leaked out my eyes
and into the water.
You didn’t mind at all - we’re
basically at sea, you said,
tipping more gin into the cup.
This isn’t a poem about heartbreak.
We get it, you say,
you loved someone and now you don’t.

It's a poem about a different type of mourning -
one you wake up to and realize
you'll never be able to be back inside those moments.
Everyone has gone away and done
their respective fallings-in-loves
and we all still want each other’s second hand smoke

but no longer know how to ask.

By Annabel Hawkins

Keep up to date with more of Annabel's poetry on her website here.

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