a year (in three months) by Jake Ormrod

i can hear you crying from the hotel bed your anguish bouncing off the walls of the bathroom the wails unhinged binging on the regret that you let someone in someone not fit for purpose someone who has lured this need to cry out of you.

what was once a fortress has crumbled, a crack made chasmic by another man who now joins the rank of problematic men you’ve let inside allowed them to hide in the rooms of your mind flip through the folds of your brain no shame because, with them with me in my arms you’re free to let loose a past of tragedy and disaster faster to anger but closer to calm my voice a balm for your troubles.

then you come out.

your face is buried in a fresh white towel the rest of your body unleashed free from a leash that you’ve been straining against for years and you look up from the towel and there’s tears and tears and tears saltwater filled with fears of a future without me without us.

you apologize again for making a fuss i say that it’s fine which makes you cry more, but with a smile this time. we keep fucking or making love i’m not sure which.

you writhe and you moan and you scream and you twitch as i scratch an itch again and again and then we sleep. “hibernation” is what you call it filling up on me for free while you have it, before a year’s big sleep a fevered sleep filled with dreams and nightmares as i creep from room to room in the house in your head infecting your memories from that hotel bed.

breakfast is a blur but the walk to the station is a ten minute pilgrimage of a perfect image two lovers in the rain the beautifully grey stain of Manchester, a perfect backdrop.

hugging and kissing for minutes seems essential as you wait for your train the hi-vis jackets of the men at work distracting me momentarily until you tell me you will always love me and i see tears on your cheeks, so i wipe them away and say that everything will be okay not believing myself but reassuring you anyway.

i leave quickly as you walk to your train never knowing if you turned back to wave.

you don’t know but a piece of me leaves with you not in your head but your heart.