thoughts on having a girlfriend who lives 22 miles away during a nationwide lockdown by Lucy Butler (20, United Kingdom)
I’m trying to take things hour by hour,
by which I mean at 8am
I’ll be thinking
this is usually when the sunrise wakes me,
creeping through the slit in the curtains
that she never shuts completely,
a golden gash of day,
bleeding onto my side of her bed,
onto my eyelids,
into my dreams
until I’m no longer asleep.
Her face, glossed with the light of dawn,
is the first thing I see.
I pinch my skin, just in case.
The everyday still feels like a dream, but a bad one -
the kind that leaks a sticky, surreal residue
into the next waking day.
I’m eating lunch when the silence starts to mock me,
by which I mean
if I scroll past one more post tagged #quarantinebae,
I will lose my goddamn mind.
My portion sizing hasn’t adjusted yet,
so I dump her half of dinner into the bin.
6pm, I do some reading and try not to think
about all the times I’d glance over & catch her already staring,
or the way my flesh softened like clay in her hands.
I trace the white of my thigh,
the indents of her fingerprints,
After 10pm I sink into bed
& sob into the smell of her t-shirt
like a puppy torn from its mother, premature.
Sometimes, in that twilight zone between
sleep and reality, I’ll mistake
one of my cushions for her slumbering body.
It’s too cold to sleep without her here. Most mornings,
I wake up shivering.