Words: Last Lunch Break for a While

Wet leaves slide me into Stockbridge
and your gloved hand, which you withdraw
when the ground resumes its grip.
You tell me your cobblestones:
the beauty of well-run meetings
and your life laid out ahead of you,
the toe-width cracks you trip on
trying to make it all happen.

This place is so pretty it’s embarrassing,
big roundabout eyes
and cheekbone clocktowers.
Next to your peacoat and quiff
I pretend to belong.

We sit in a sandwich shop
where the loo quotes A A Milne
and E E Cummings,
instructions for being in love.
Eating my dressed-up sausage roll
I think about what we each carry,
how you massage your arms
when we talk.

I don’t finish the roll.
I’m too full of frayed wires
and you’re needed elsewhere.
I walk you back,
making fists in my pockets.

By Allie Kerper

This was first published in the October 2020 issue of SNACK magazine. You can read the full magazine below on your smartphone, tablet, or pc.

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